Monday, October 8, 2012

Taubman Changes Model: Free Admission; Mickenburg Out as Executive Director

The new board of directors for the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke
Chairman Nick Taubman
The bumpy ride of the promising Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke--the $66 million facility that has been controversial since the day it was announced as a possibility--appears to be over because of the largess of some deep-pocket founders.

At a news conference this morning Board Chairman Nick Taubman of Advance Auto announced that the museum will no longer charge admission, depending instead on contributions from monied supporters--including Taubman and his wife Jenny and Heywood Fralin, three of the people most instrumental in the opening of the museum.

Haywood Fralin
A new board of directors has been appointed and because of that President/CEO David Mickenburg resigned. "When a new board is appointed, it deserves the right to pick its own director," said Mickenburg this morning. "This has been a great board to serve." Mickenburg, who says he and his wife have just closed on a house in Roanoke, plan to stay here and he wants to "reacquaint myself" with his wife.

CFO Kathryn Garvin is the interim director.

The new board--in addition to the Taubmans and Fralin are David Wine, William J. Lemon, Bittle Porterfield, Garnett Smith, Kent Greenwalt, Leon Harris, Nancy Agee, Stan Lanford, Tammy Finley and Debbie Meade.

Board Member Bill Elliott, who has been the interim president for a while, said Mickenburg "has done what he came here to do: create a first class museum. There has been a tremendous move forward under David.

"David has done everything the board asked him of him to implment our vision during the most difficult environment," said Taubman. "We commend his tireless efforts and thank him for helping to make the Taubman Museum of Art a showcase that touches so many people's lives."

David Mickenburg
The new board "has personally committed to securing the museum's fiscal future with significant final contributions," said a press release. Advance Auto Parts has chipped in $150,000 in operating expenses in order to get rid of the admission fee.

Taubman said, "The Taubman Museum of Art is a vital part of the fabric of our community. Every day it touches the lives of children, college students, art lovers, visitors, fellow cultural institutions and non-profit organizations throughout the Roanoke Valley and beyond.

"The museum has made strides over the past few years, expanding programming, welcoming new exhibitions, growing membership, offering more classes, and reaching out to build partnerships and relationships. The plan we are announcing today ensures a viable financial future for this special place ..."

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