Sunday, September 28, 2003

New director expected to keep up momentum

The next director of the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art will be someone with a well-rounded background able to manage people, raise money and make creative decisions, according to Joe Hale, chairman of the center's board of trustees.

The search will begin within two weeks, after a committee is appointed. Hale met with two New York search firms Friday to kick off the national recruitment.

"We are looking for somebody who has been strong in development, motivating and managing people and someone who can hit the ground running," Hale says. "Our organization is at its zenith - we have more members and now we have to retain those members and keep them engaged."

Timothy Rub, director of Cincinnati Art Museum, agrees that the appointment is critical. "It will be a much bigger job," he says. "It's a new building, a new operation and there are additional funding needs. The incoming director will have to address these issues and make sure the institution continues to grow."

Dennis Harrington, director of the Weston Art Gallery, says it will be interesting to see where the center goes from here. "It's a unique opportunity and there aren't many in the country. It will be a challenge for whomever becomes the director. It's a whole new ball game."

Rub says trustees should look to someone who has a "really good and broad knowledge of contemporary art, not only in this country but abroad, as well. The director will have to look at globalization and its impact on arts organizations. He will have to bring what is happening around the world to Cincinnati. It will require an expertise that not many people have."

Hale says the selection committee will be made up of board members and community business leaders and should be appointed within 10 days.

"I would love to have a short list by the first of the year and to make our decision shortly thereafter," he says. "We will have a new director on board near the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second."

Marilyn Bauer

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