Press Releases & Statements

Association of Art Museum Directors to Meet in Detroit

New York, NY
May 28, 2015

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) will hold its annual meeting in Detroit from Saturday, May 30 through Tuesday, June 2, 2015. This will be the final meeting under the presidency of Susan Taylor, Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art. She will be succeeded as AAMD president at the conclusion of the meeting by Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Director of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art. In addition to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the group will visit the Art Gallery of Windsor, Cranbrook Art Museum, Toledo Museum of Art, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.

The annual meeting will include committee meetings, visits to cultural institutions, workshops, and informal sessions that provide opportunities for members to share information on a range of current topics and issues in the field. Additionally, the meeting will feature a series of panel discussions and presentations by outside speakers. This includes a panel discussion titled “In Institutions We Trust: A Conversation on Public Trust” on Monday, June 1 at 5:30 pm, hosted by the Detroit Institute of Arts and open to the public. The discussion will explore the issue of the public trust more broadly, seeking perspectives outside the context of the museum community to inform how we think about art museums. The panelists bring a range of experiences that will help the audience to understand better the impact of both the phrase and underlying concept of “the public trust.” Moderated by Mark Stryker, arts reporter for the Detroit Free Press, the program will also feature:

  • Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development, The Trust for Public Land
  • Alicia Bradford, Director, City of Detroit Recreation Department
  • Karen Cook, Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
  • Joseph Nocera, Op-Ed columnist, The New York Times

This event is free and open to the public, and admission is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. More information is available on the DIA website here.

Additional highlights of the Detroit program include:

  • An opening keynote address by Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education;
  • An additional keynote speech by Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts;
  • A round table session on diversity in the museum field led by Mariët Westermann, Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation;
  • “Contemplating the Future: Looking Outside the Museum World for New Organization Structures and Models,” a panel organized by Brett Littman, Director of The Drawing Center and Chair of the Future of Museums Task Force, and featuring: Kaywin Feldman, Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem; Mirko Zardini, Director and Chief Curator of the Canadian Centre for Architecture; Heidi Zuckerman, Director and CEO of the Aspen Art Museum; and Julián Zugazagoitia, Director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
  • “Subject to Interpretation: Exploring New Roles & Alliances in Creating Visitor Experiences,” organized by Lori Fogarty, Director of the Oakland Museum of California and Chair of AAMD’s Education and Community Issues Committee; moderated by Kaywin Feldman, Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and featuring: Jennifer Czajkowski, Vice President for Learning and Interpretation, Detroit Institute of Arts; Eric Siegel, Director and Chief Content Officer, New York Hall of Science; Nii Quarcoopome, Co-Chief Curator and Curator of African Art, Detroit Institute of Arts and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, respectively; Judith Koke, Chief, Public Programming and Learning, Art Gallery of Ontario; and Kelly McKinley, Director of the OMCA Lab, Oakland Museum of California.

The Association was invited to hold its meeting in Detroit by the directors of its five member institutions in the region: Catharine Mastin (Art Gallery of Windsor), Gregory M. Wittkopp (Cranbrook Art Museum), Graham Beal (Detroit Institute of Arts), Brian Kennedy (Toledo Museum of Art), and Joseph Rosa (University of Michigan Museum of Art).

A full schedule is available here.

The Association of Art Museum Directors—representing 240 art museum directors in the US, Canada, and Mexico—promotes the vital role of art museums throughout North America and advances the profession by cultivating leadership and communicating standards of excellence in museum practice. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at


Christine Anagnos / Alison Wade
Association of Art Museum Directors

Sascha Freudenheim / Elizabeth Chapman
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
212-671-5172 / 212-671-5159