Press Release


COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Museum of Art has seen tremendous growth since moving to Main Street
in 1998. Thousands of people have visited the Museum and in 2010, a daily attendance record of over 2,000 people visited the CMA. As the Museum continues to grow its audiences, the board and staff look to the future with excitement and anticipation, as evidenced by a new strategic plan. This plan is a blueprint for the goals and strategies over the next three years, with its foundation being the overarching goal of community engagement. To reinforce this strategy, the CMA defined four supporting goals, refreshed the mission and vision statements, defined core values and established guiding principles. The plan employs measurable outcomes in support of the CMA’s commitment to be an audience-based, audience-relevant and audience- centered organization.

“We are eager to further our community engagement and impact throughout the state,” Karen Brosius, executive director, said.

The plan was developed in collaboration with a broad range of people including community leaders, board members, staff and museum planning consultants, VernerJohnson of Boston. In the last 18 months, the CMA put an emphasis on learning about audience, member and community perceptions of the Museum, their expectations, and what they want to see the CMA offer and do. “We want to be visitor and community centered in all that we do going forward,” Joelle Ryan-Cook, deputy director, said.

In order to provide critical background information for planning, visitor research was conducted using formal and informal surveys of the Museum audience, community and even non-visitors. Additional information was gathered through board and staff retreats, interactive audience games during programs and events, social media engagement strategies and focus groups.

The Museum also participated in the Association of Art Museum Directors mapping project, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project documents all education, community, and business partnerships, as well as members and donors. The most essential benefit of the project is to communicate the extent of the CMA’s service, impact and value in all sectors of society. This project shows a broad base of engagement across community, civic and educational institutions.

“The maps illustrate a growing public interest in the CMA from a larger geographic area, in addition to the capital city. We’re more than the “Columbia” Museum of Art and serve communities throughout the state, and to an extent, the region,” Brosius, said. The map below shows education, community, and business partnerships the CMA has engaged over the last three years. Over 500 touch points, including schools, community, civic and service organizations, libraries, senior groups, colleges/universities, faith-based
groups, youth groups, cultural organizations and corporations represent the CMA’s broad reach.
The strategic plan, new mission and vision statements and results of the mapping project were formally
announced on Thursday, May 17, at the 61st annual membership meeting in conjunction with the Columbia Art Association's 96th annual meeting. Board president Duncan McIntosh officiated the meeting, which included the announcement of the board officers for 2012-2013.

Luther J. Battiste, III serves as president with R. Scott McClelland, vice-president; Dr. Suzanne Thorpe, secretary; and Joel A. Smith, III treasurer.

At the meeting, the following trustees were elected to serve for the Class of 2015: Lisa Arnold, Tom Collins, Dr. Carolyn Kressler-Greenberg, R. Scott McClelland, Dr. Allen Montgomery, Ann B. Oliver, Joel A. Smith, III, Dr. Suzanne Thorpe and Brenda Wheeler.

The President's Award was presented to John Whitehead for his years of continued service and dedication to the Museum and the annual CMA gala.

The Director's Award for employee of the year was presented to Sara Kennedy, manager of visitor services and technology.

The Chairman's Award, presented by C. Carroll Heyward, Columbia Museum of Art Commission chair, was presented to Ada “Missy” McIver for her great enthusiasm and involvement in the Museum. She is not only a volunteer, but an outstanding example of a lifelong learner in art.

The Vendor Service Award was given to Michelle Motchos, PE of Stevens & Wilkinson of South Carolina, Inc.

The Docent of the Year Award was given to Susan James for her dedicated service to the Museum’s educational mission.
Mac Arthur Goodwin presented his namesake award for excellence in education in the arts to Josh Keiper,


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