Tuesday, September 2, 2008
D.K. Row, the art critic for the Oregonian, has written an article calling for a nonprofit contemporary art center in Portland. He emphasizes the need for the center to be established by an independent nonprofit, as opposed to a college or university, because in his view the most cutting-edge contemporary art would be a poor fit with the presumably more traditional educational missions of such institutions. He recognizes, however, that a limited affiliation with an existing academic entity could help support the new nonprofit, and that the new center would have to carefully consider whether the scope of its mission should extend beyond being a gallery to providing educational and other resources to area artists. Consistent with much current thinking about nonprofit management, he also emphasizes that enthusiasm is not enough to make a good nonprofit - a clear vision (can you say vision and mission statements?), good administration, quality programming and financial discipline are needed to gain the public trust required for such an organization to succeed.