Cincinnati Art Museum Sets New Strategic Course to 2020
Museum Commits to Community Connections and Expanded Civic Agenda at 136th Annual Meeting
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a new Strategic Plan that will shape institutional direction and priorities for the next five years. The Strategic Plan 2016-2020 articulates that the story of art – past, present and future – enriches life, promotes a thriving creative economy, and links people and perspectives across cultures and history.
Following the Board adoption, the plan was embraced enthusiastically by the museum’s Shareholders at the Cincinnati Museum Association’s 136th annual meeting. Jon Moeller, President of the Board; Martha Ragland, Chairperson of the Board; and Cameron Kitchin, Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director, presented the collective input of hundreds of citizens, patrons and partners who participated in the planning process.
Kitchin and the Strategic Planning Committee co-chairs Amy Hanson and Polk Laffoon state that the plan is rooted in the museum’s mission statement and founding premises; the Cincinnati Art Museum was established in 1881 by community-minded volunteers as the first purpose-built art museum in the westward expansion of the nation.
The museum’s simplified mission states, “Through the power of art, we contribute to a more vibrant Cincinnati by inspiring its people and connecting our communities.” Kitchin explains, “We believe that a vibrant city integrates art and design into its civic agenda. Connecting people and art is central to this belief and at the core of all we do.”
Top goals call for the museum to expand community impact and outreach, enrich the visitor experience and enhance and sustain organizational capacity. Key strategies underlying the goals include new art experiences indoors and outdoors, innovative public programming, expanded collections access, gallery renovations, interpretation through technology, resource growth, and site master planning. The museum has laid out an ambitious agenda to boldly lead the city and region forward in these pursuits.
Also among the museum’s strategies is a deeper commitment to community partnerships throughout the Greater Cincinnati region. New examples of nearly 500 ongoing community partnerships include:
- The Cincinnati Art Museum has launched a collaboration with the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Classics. In October of 2014, the museum opened new antiquities galleries, including art from Egypt, Greece and Rome. Students and professors of the university’s Classics Department worked with chief curator, Cynthia Amnéus, researching objects, curating galleries and providing interpretive themes. A subsequent collaboration is in process now as the museum reinstalls its important Nabatean collection – the largest collection of such material outside of Jordan – and its Near Eastern collection. Both the Department of Classics and Hebrew Union College are engaged in a collaboration that is proving mutually beneficial for both the museum and the students. These projects provide students with the unique opportunity to work within a museum, understand museum procedures and processes, and gain experience that may lead them to a career in the museum field. In turn, the museum gains through cutting-edge scholarship from one of the nation’s finest academic departments in the classics.
- 30 Americans is a major exhibition and slate of programs focused on powerful works by contemporary African-American artists. The exhibition encourages community dialogue and bridging of experience across our region. A companion program, 30 in 30, brings together community groups to discuss multiple perspectives on our city and contemporary society. These events are held every Sunday at 2 p.m. at the museum through August 28. In addition, on May 21, a public space called The Forum opens inside the Cincinnati Art Museum for groups or individuals to meet and learn more from each other. A partnership with 3CDC provides access for outreach opportunities at Fountain Square and Washington Park, among other community outreach events throughout the summer.
- Cincinnati Art Museum has partnered with the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) on a reciprocal program to allow CMC pass holders to receive member perks inside the art museum during CMC construction. In addition, starting in July, CAM is working to transition Cincinnati Museum Center Youth Program participants to volunteers at the art museum. Young adult volunteers will assist with interactive stations within the art museum, including the Rosenthal Education Center (REC), visitor research and special art museum programs. CMC benefits by keeping teen volunteers engaged during the temporary closure of two of their museums during the restoration of Union Terminal, as well as broadening the students’ museum experience.
Many more examples of partnerships are in development and will be announced on a regular basis in coming months and years.
Inside the museum, expanded surveys and research will gain information on how to enhance and improve the museum experience. The Cincinnati Art Museum’s upcoming participation in the next Greater Cincinnati Survey, a semiannual survey of public opinion in the Greater Cincinnati area, ensures that the museum is continually listening and responding as the strategic plan progresses.
About the Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati, as well as our members.
General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is always free. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is closed Monday.