Corcoran seeks input via community meeting

June 11, 2012

The Corcoran Gallery of Art is opening its doors to critics and supporters to discuss the venerable museum’s future.

The gallery finds itself on the cultural hot seat after it announced plans last week to study the feasibility of relocating from its landmark building near the White House. Finances are at the core of the decision, Corcoran leaders have said. It would cost an estimated $130 million to bring the building up to modern standards, according to museum officials.

To air all sides of the argument of staying or going, the Corcoran announced Monday that it will hold a community meeting Thursday to talk about planning and options. Fred Bollerer, the Corcoran’s director and president, will conduct the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Green Mantel Room.

“The community is part of our success for the future and we want their input in this process of envisioning a future for the Corcoran,” said Mimi Carter, the new vice president of communications and marketing at the museum.

“We have an education process we have to go through by which we articulate the architectural deficiencies of a 100-year-old building and the financial realities associated with that,” she said. The Corcoran has reported a $7.2 million deficit for the current year. The Corcoran is using part of its Web site as a conduit to reach the public. People who are interested can get more information and register at getinvolved.corcoran.
org/community_meeting
.

Meanwhile, groups that are questioning the Corcoran’s decision to explore changing locations have already held one public meeting and have established Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The Save the Corcoran group has announced its second meeting, to be held June 20.

Carter officially took over the communications duties from Kristin Guiter, who said she told Bollerer a month ago that she intended to resign after five years with the Corcoran. For nine years, Carter was the marketing manager of Dumbarton Concerts.

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