Press Release

AAMD Annual Meeting Held in Cleveland

New York, NY

Meeting marked launch of the association’s centennial with a focus on diversity and inclusion in the arts and the adoption of a new Strategic plan

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) held its annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio from May 21 through May 24, 2016 with over 120 members gathering to discuss issues critical to the development of the field. 

A central focus of the meeting, which marked the launch of AAMD’s centennial, was increasing diversity and inclusion throughout the art museum field. In addition to a series of workshops, presentations, and discussions on the subject, a Public Panel “Arts and Culture in a Changing World” was hosted by the Cleveland Museum of Art. The event was free and open to the public, and was moderated by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Golden was joined by panelists Jeff Chang, Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, and Cathy Winter, Program Manager, DiverseCity onBoard, Global Diversity Exchange (GDX) at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. The discussion explored strategies for increasing equity and diversifying the arts sector and was live-streamed online. The full program can be accessed at

At the meeting, the AAMD membership approved the 2016 Strategic Plan. The new plan builds on the success of AAMD’s 2011 Strategic Plan, which saw the implementation of initiatives such as the relaunch of the AAMD website, as well as the publication of data-driven resources including “Art Museum by Numbers” and the “Next Practices” series.

The 2016 Strategic Plan, launched on the occasion of AAMD’s 100th Anniversary, will guide the Association into the future. The Plan is centered on three core areas:

  • Engagement: AAMD will continue to provide a forum for art museum directors to build connections, strengthen their leadership skills, share strategies, develop creative programs, cultivate audiences, and advocate for their institutions and the field at large.
  • Leadership: AAMD will provide crucial leadership and advocacy, supporting leadership and stakeholders in identifying best practices, fostering diversity and inclusion, and addressing challenges both within their institutions and for the field at large. 
  • Shared Learning: AAMD will conduct research and generate knowledge that enriches and expands art museum practice, and shares its findings widely to support transformation in–and advocacy for–the field. 

The AAMD membership also approved AAMD’s Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials and Works of Art by Art Museums which sets out best practices for the use of images via art museums’ websites, online collections, blogs, brochures, scholarly publications and catalogues, and other educational materials. The Guidelines on Fair Use were developed by the counsels of various AAMD member museums along with AAMD counsel and staff. The Guidelines will evolve and grow over time as technologies and legal developments progress. 

At the meeting, the membership voted to affirm the slate of new AAMD Officers and members of its Board of Trustees. New leadership includes: Brian Ferriso (Portland Art Museum) who succeeded Johnnetta B. Cole, Director of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, as President of AAMD; Lori Fogarty, Vice President and Secretary (Oakland Museum of California); and Jeff Fleming, Treasurer (Des Moines Art Center). The annual meeting also marked the election of new trustees: Sharon Corwin (Colby College Museum of Art); Christoph Heinrich (Denver Art Museum); Adam Lerner (Museum of Contemporary Art Denver); and Jill Medvedow (Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston).

Meeting participants visited the Akron Art Museum, MOCA Cleveland, the Allen Memorial Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, also celebrating its 100th anniversary, is one of AAMD’s twelve founding members who established the organization in 1916. AAMD meetings are held biannually and serve as a platform for the Association’s commitment to supporting the professional development of current and future art museum leaders and advancing innovative pathways to excellence in the field.

The meeting was sponsored by AXA Art Americas Corporation and Vivian Ebersman, Director Art Expertise, presented on “Challenges for Loans and Exhibitions: An Insurer’s Perspective.”


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