The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) held an open meeting June 11 to discuss progress and take suggestions on its 2012 strategic plan, in development since last fall. It was the museum's first public meeting since longtime executive director Jay Weigel abruptly announced his intention to quit — some time in the next year — while on vacation in China last month.
Over the past two months, architect Allen Eskew has been conducting a series of focus groups with local artists and other CAC stakeholders, including patrons and members of the museum. What the results showed depended on who was talking. The consensus view of visual artists who took part was that the CAC should aim to host a ratio of 70 percent national and international exhibitions to 30 percent regional and local exhibitions a year. Performing artists, on the other hand, called for 30 percent national and international performances to 70 percent local and regional.
CAC membership and government funding have both declined in the last several years. Along with Weigel, the museum has also seen recent departures of other high-profile staff, including former visual arts curator Amy Mackie and development director Christina Carr. — Charles Maldonado