Oct 29, 2021

Member Profile: Ruby Powell-Dennis

Ruby Powell Dennis, her partner, and two children sitting on white couch in Christmas card family photo

Meet Dixon Member Ruby Powell-Dennis

1. Tell us about yourself.  Where did you grow up?  What do you do? What brought you to Memphis?

I grew up in Bogalusa, Louisiana.  It is a small town filled with love and lots of history. Growing up surrounded by educators taught me a lot about the importance of hard work, being a servant leader and family, which are all things I value to this day. 

Professionally, I serve as Executive Director of Elect Black Women PAC. It is an organization that helps train, support and elect qualified Black women to public office across the country.  As a former candidate myself, I am committed to helping ensure that we are preparing today’s leaders for tomorrow’s challenges. 

I came to Memphis years ago to work in our K-12 education and prior to my current work, I was an elementary school administrator. Seeing firsthand how hard our teachers and students are working is why I am so passionate about the work I do now. 

2. What do you enjoy most about the Dixon community?

The staff of the Dixon works hard to create an unforgettable experience at every event and exhibition.  I appreciate that every year the events are taken to the next level and there is always an effort to ensure that every Memphian can both enjoy the experience and see themselves in the work happening at the Dixon.

3. What is your favorite family program or event at the Dixon and why?

Art on Fire is wonderful.  Whether I am volunteering at the event with the Junior League of Memphis or enjoying it as an attendee, it is always fun to see so many familiar faces.  The food, the people, and the experience are always top-notch!

4. What do you wish more people knew about the Dixon? 

Food Truck Fridays!  Often times it might feel like you need to drive Downtown or wait for a festival to enjoy your favorite food trucks, but the Dixon has made it convenient for those of us who live a little further out. You can grab a meal and cool off in the gardens.

5. Why is the Dixon special to you?

I am an art lover and gardener at heart.  I am proud of the various exhibits and artists that are showcased at the Dixon. Each time I visit the Dixon, I learn more about art history. I also love the tulips in bloom, and I get a lot of inspiration for my own garden from my visits. Now that the Black Artists in America: From the Great Depression to Civil Rights exhibit is about to open on October 17, I am looking forward to experiencing it with my family.

6. Do you have a favorite work of art at the Dixon? 

Anything sculptures created by Augusta Savage. As a child, I was first introduced to her work by an artist in my family who makes sculptures as a way of showing me the works of Black women visual artists.  It left a powerful impression on me.