According to a press release, the Bellevue Arts Museum’s Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of a new Executive Director. E. Michael Whittington has a strong background in museum leadership , as well as a successful history of transforming organizations at critical stages of growth.
Whittington recently served as President and CEO of Oklahoma City Museum of Art, where he launched an innovative strategic plan that led to new levels of artistic and financial success for the organization. His work there resulted in engagement by a wider range of community members and new exhibitions, as well as boosting the museum’s national reputation.
He also served as Executive Director at Monterey Museum of Art previous to his work in Oklahoma. He oversaw efforts that led to an exponential growth in attendance and Museum membership.
“I’m honored by the invitation to lead Bellevue Arts Museum during this consequential moment in the organization’s history,” says Whittington. “While the pandemic has been difficult for arts organizations everywhere, I’m excited to help BAM seize the opportunities that come with times of transition. The museum has long been committed to serving as a public forum for the exploration of art, craft, and design. As I begin my role this spring, I look forward to connecting with the diverse communities that live, work, and play here in Bellevue and learning how we can best shape inclusive and accessible arts engagement in 2022 and beyond.”
Leigh Ann More served as Interim Executive Director after an open letter was written to the Bellevue Arts Museum’s Board of Trustees, documenting the abuses that the Executive Director had inflicted upon its first Black woman curator. He then resigned after the concerns that were brought forward.
More had been a part of the community for over 10 years before being appointed the position of Interim Executive Director.
“It’s been an honor to lead Bellevue Arts Museum over the past ten months,” says outgoing Interim Executive Director Leigh Ann More. “BAM is such a unique and special local institution, and I look forward to seeing the many ways the organization will continue to grow under Michael’s leadership.”
Whittington’s appointment comes as the Museum looks forward to presenting an exciting slate of 2022 exhibitions and celebrating the 76th anniversary of its signature Arts Far.
Michael Whittington will assume the role of Executive Director on March 14, 2022.