Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taubman Museum Outlines Program

Officials at Roanoke's Taubman Museum of Art, facing a serious revenue challenge and proposals to change the way it operates, met with community members tonight to present some ideas.

The official Taubman line, edited here, follows:

"Over the next year, the Taubman will continue to ensure the arts play a leading role in Roanoke by embracing a new art center model that emphasizes accessibility, community and diversity.

"Executive Director David Mickenberg and members of the museum’s board of trustees outlined the model tonight. An art center encompasses the functions of an art museum but is broader in scope and more of a hybrid non-profit, permanent cultural institution.

"The collections form one of many equivalent cores around which exhibitions and educational programs are organized. There is however, equanimity between exhibitions, collections, lectures, performance, film and video, seminars, symposia, conversations, and other forms of presentation.

"The art center serves as a focal point of social and cultural engagement, a sort of town hall for the arts. It is the ideas and experiences, educational initiatives and learning environments, and community engagement and collaboration that form the core of the art center and make it distinct from an art gallery or museum. The art center model emphasizes making art and the museum more accessible.

“'Accessibility is a key concern for us,' explains Mickenberg. 'It is our desire to remove the impediments to participation, open the museum to multiple forms of social, aesthetic, and learning experiences, and for visitors of all ages to feel that the Taubman is their museum.'

"'This is a museum that wants and needs to be owned by the community. In order to achieve that goal, our activities must appeal to as many people and as diverse an audience as possible,” he says.

"The Taubman will be announcing a number of new programs and collaborations in the coming year, including:
  • Exceptional exhibitions organized by the museum in collaboration with some of the leading museums nationally;
  • Expanded community-based programs such as Spectacular Saturdays, Red, White & Art and Conversations;
  • New collaborations with local artists, community organizations and universities;
  • Enhanced educational opportunities in collaboration with city and county public schools;
  • and New family events that provide personal and rewarding experiences with art for parents and children.
"Beginning later this month, and continuing through the end of the year a series of community dinners, neighborhood meetings and focus groups are being planned, during which museum representatives will actively solicit ideas. “There is expertise and knowledge in this community that belongs in this museum,' emphasizes Mickenberg. 'Our new mission absolutely includes harnessing that knowledge to make our exhibitions and programs a much richer experience for everyone,' he adds."

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