Could There Be a More Difficult Time to Become an Arts Leader?

OMAA’s Executive Director, Amanda Lahikainen, PhD, is mentioned in recent New York Times article focusing on cultural institutions faced with hiring new leadership during this pandemic.


June 3, 2020


As many cultural institutions are dealing with layoffs and furloughs, some are appointing new leaders who face a whole new set of challenges.

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan had planned to announce the appointment of Aileen Hefferren as its new chief executive and director on Tuesday. But the board decided to wait till Wednesday in deference to Blackout Tuesday, a social media action intended to show solidarity with the protests over the death of George Floyd.

The Children’s Museum is among a growing number of arts institutions from New York to Virginia to Colorado trying to navigate the sensitive, uncharted territory of making major appointments and initiating new cultural leaders in this difficult cultural moment.

And new appointees find themselves stepping into positions of leadership made much more complicated by questions such as when and how to safely reopen, how to stem financial losses caused by the pandemic and how to respond to a country convulsed by unrest.



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