University of Maryland Art Partnerships – the Corcoran and Michael Kaiser

UPDATE: This. New news about the Corcoran. The Kaiser info holds true. More on this as it develops.

UMD, my alma mater and current employer, is investigating and undertaking a few interesting partnerships in the arts and I’m trying to compile a kind of FAQ post because I found a lot of the iterations of the news confusing. This info is all quoted directly from the articles listed. If you know more, please reblog and add info – especially if you’re coming at this from a Corcoran or DeVos side!

I’ve been working on this post for a couple weeks now because there’s just so much information to comb through, but I’m working on a paper now that deals more with some controversy surrounding a man looking to take over the board of the Corcoran and make major changes, so more about the Corcoran soon.

All questions answered behind the jump:

Why is UMD interested in partnering with the Corcoran?

What’s happening with UMD and DeVos, Michael Kasier’s arts management program?

What’s in it for Maryland, with regards to Kaiser?

Why did Kaiser pick Maryland?

How are these two partnerships related?

Where are we in the process with the Corcoran and who was involved in getting us here?

What is the DeVos program as it currently exists?

How did Kaiser pull DeVos from the existing contract with the Kennedy Center, which was theoretically in place through 2017?

How does this affect the way Corcoran degrees are presented?

How is Maryland responding to the controversy about the Corcoran move?

Why does this matter?

Why does it really matter?

Why is UMD interested in partnering with the Corcoran?

What’s in the deal for Maryland is the potential fulfillment of President Wallace Loh’s ambition to expand the university’s offerings and influence in the creative arts, a standing priority of the public research university with more than 37,000 students. The university has programs in art, art history and performing arts, and is “prominent” in fields that integrate art and design, such as architecture, engineering and journalism, Loh wrote in a letter to the university community Wednesday.

“We will gain a physical footprint in a historic landmark, magnifying our presence in the nation’s capital,” Loh wrote. “The combined and complementary strengths of our respective institutions could lead to transformative excellence in education, scholarship and exhibitions in ways that would benefit our entire University, the region and beyond.”

Corcoran, University of Maryland agree to explore partnership – The Washington Post

Both parties are motivated by a partnership that will “encourage American genius” in ways that are innovative and visionary. With its collection, history, and location, the Corcoran is poised to continue its founding mission in the 21″ century by refocusing its identity and vision on contemporary art, American art, and design.

Both parties recognize the advantages of UMD’s management expertise, financial strengths, economies of scale, and capacity for in-kind assistance in the operations of the Corcoran in such areas as student services, administration and finance, procurement, information technology, communications and marketing, development, facilities management, and human resources.

Corcoran and UMD preliminary Memorandum of understanding – The Washington Post

What’s happening with UMD and DeVos, Michael Kasier’s arts management program?

From Mr. Kaiser’s press release:

With great excitement we share with you that by September of 2014, the DeVos Institute of Arts Management will relocate to the University of Maryland, College Park, joining the College of Arts and Humanities’ robust portfolio.

In collaboration with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, one of the nation’s leading arts incubators, the institute will continue its work providing training and support for the arts leaders of today and tomorrow. Joining the ranks of renowned arts partners the School of Music; School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies; the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library; and the Visiting Artist Program, the institute will continue to provide training to arts administrators and arts management consultation to cultural organizations, governments, and foundations nationally and internationally.

Also:

The DeVos Institute was originally meant to stay with the Kennedy Center through 2017, but in making plans for his exit, Kaiser says he preferred to affiliate with a university.

Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser to Move to University of Maryland in 2014 –Washingtonian

What’s in it for Maryland, with regards to Kaiser?

“There was a mutuality of interests,” Loh says. “My goal has always been to elevate UMD as an arts institution. A possibility that the DeVos Institute was relocating was a perfect strategic fit.”

Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser to Move to University of Maryland in 2014 –Washingtonian

Why did Kaiser pick Maryland?

Kaiser said his institute’s move to Maryland was necessary for its growth.

“Maryland has a wonderful performing arts center, a master’s in nonprofit management and a lot of expertise,” Kaiser said. “So much of what we do is educational — and the confluence of missions is very strong. We can grow bigger at a larger institution.”

Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser to leave contract early, take arts institute to U-Md. – the Washington Post

How are these two partnerships related?

“This is a very important day for the arts at the University of Maryland,” university President Wallace D. Loh said. “One of my primary objectives as president is to expand the role of the arts, and we’ve moved another step in the that direction. Bringing Michael on board will help us take it to the next level.”

“This is, of course, total coincidence that the Corcoran approached us, and right now we are deep in the throes of deciding how to make it happen. But at this point, we have nothing to announce,” Loh said of the partnership announced in April. “If it were to happen, someone like Michael could be helpful to moving the Corcoran forward,” he added.

Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser to leave contract early, take arts institute to U-Md. – the Washington Post

Where are we in the process with the Corcoran and who was involved in getting us here?

The Corcoran’s board of trustees voted, 13 to 0, Wednesday afternoon to sign a preliminary agreement to explore a long-term partnership with Maryland that could include shared faculty; joint student degrees; cooperation on developing new courses; pairing interdisciplinary teams of artists, engineers and computer scientists on projects; and expansion of the Corcoran College of Art and Design by several hundred students, Corcoran and Maryland officials said.

Corcoran, University of Maryland agree to explore partnership – The Washington Post

What is the DeVos program as it currently exists?

The merger is a surprising announcement from a performing arts center that has championed arts fellowship programs since the institute’s inception. Kaiser started the institute to teach busy professionals the realities of running arts institutions in times of decreased government funding. Each summer, it hosts nearly 40 international arts managers for a month-long, intensive training seminar. Responding to the recession in 2009, Kaiser started “Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative,” a free consultation program for the nonprofit arts that served 750 groups nationwide.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said the board wanted the institute to flourish under Kaiser’s leadership.

Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser to leave contract early, take arts institute to U-Md. – the Washington Post

 

How did Kaiser pull DeVos from the existing contract with the Kennedy Center, which was theoretically in place through 2017?

“We felt that Michael created this. It was his baby, his creation and would do much better under his direction,” Rubenstein said. “The next president may have an area of passion similar to Michael’s or may pursue some other area. We don’t know yet. But it will have a very good home at the University of Maryland.”

“Our desire to start a master’s program and to offer certificates for those who come to the program though fellowships also contributed.”

There’s only goodwill here,”

And how will Kaiser, a lifelong arts fundraiser, adjust to the title of professor? “It’s a change. I’ll let you know in a year,” he said, laughing. “But I’m excited about the ability to build this work, and I’m not leaving the area. I will be a big fan of the Kennedy Center and hopefully stay involved somehow.”

Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser to leave contract early, take arts institute to U-Md. – the Washington Post

How does this affect the way Corcoran degrees are presented?

The agreement with Maryland explicitly states that the gallery and the college would remain in Washington and that Corcoran students would still receive Corcoran undergraduate and graduate degrees.

“It’s not a merger, nor is it a takeover,” said Frederick Knops, a Corcoran trustee who served on the trustee committee that sifted various partnership opportunities in the past several months.

Corcoran, University of Maryland agree to explore partnership –The Washington Post

How is Maryland responding to the controversy about the Corcoran move?

President Wallace D. Loh met with the Corcoran community the day after the plan was announced, and the university’s provost has also paid a visit to the D.C. college.

Loh is also an optimist, and forcefully rebuts the idea that the university is taking over, or even merging with the Corcoran. “Our job is not to micrcomanage,” he said in an interview Thursday. He also denied that the university will change the Corcoran’s emphasis away from its public museum role. He sees both U-Md. and the Corcoran pursuing “enlightened self interest” in the relationship, and when asked about the language in the memorandum of understanding that seems to give the university unilateral control over the Corcoran board, he said that is not the case.

Although the university can propose members and the president, the Corcoran would have final say on whether they ultimately join the board. Everything, he insists, will be done with lots of consulting.

Very likely, the Corcoran will start outsourcing some of its administrative functions to U-Md., and very likely though no one is saying it, there will be fewer administrative people on the Corcoran payroll when the partnership takes effect.

Loh said that there are administrative functions that might cost the Corcoran a dollar that could be done more efficiently by U-Md. for 20 cents. He also believes the museum’s annual debt, currently running about $8 to $10 million a year, can be retired “in about three years,” and he promised a capital campaign to fund the museum’s renovation.

The Corcoran and the University of Maryland: What has happened and what has to happen – the Washington Post

Why does this matter?

“We are a very, very strong STEM institution, and one of my goals has always been to make it also a STEAM institution — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,” Loh said. “One step in this grand strategic vision is of course to bring in a superstar.”

Before Kaiser’s appointment, the arts and humanities and college was exploring ways to create a program in arts management, Thornton Dill said. Kaiser and the DeVos Institute make that endeavor much simpler, she said.

The DeVos Institute will help the university garner national attention in the arts, Loh said, as well as create joint ventures in the arts with countries the university already works with, including China, Israel and other Middle Eastern nations.

“We’re bringing in a very well-run, mature organization,” Loh said. “If there are challenges, it’s because we will have to operate at their level, efficiency and speed.”

Updated: Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser will join University of Maryland – The Diamondback, UMD

Why does it really matter?

Check out Learning to Think Outside the Box,Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline— the New York Times

http://nyti.ms/1f7mV0F

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