Mich. State’s Broad Art Museum marks first anniversary
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – More than 114,000 people have visited the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing in its first year.
“If I ever get hoarse, it’s probably because I can’t stop thanking enough the incredible staff and my colleagues here,” museum director Michael Rush told an audience that gathered recently for an anniversary event to thank donors, leaders of Michigan State University, where the museum is located, and staff members.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon asked the crowd “to think about what might be in five or 10 years from now as this museum really matures into something that the world will recognize, not simply for its architecture, but for its programming.”
Among those in attendance was the museum architect Zaha Hadid, according to the Lansing State Journal. The museum design won second prize in the culture category at the World Architecture Festival.
Also there was Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist and MSU alumnus. He and his wife, Edythe, donated $28 million to the museum.
In its first year the museum had visitors from every state and 80 countries.
“When you start a new organization, you have hopes and you have expectations but our expectations have been so far exceeded by the visitorship, but also by just the vigor and ambition of our programming,” Rush said.
“In art circles, everybody knows about it,” said Tom Berding, who was chairman of the university’s Department of Art, Art History and Design until August. “The question is: Will that spread beyond the boundary of specialists to future students, to alums, to donors who aren’t in the art crowd?”
A report on the museum’s potential impact by Anderson Economic Group predicts it will attract about 150,000 visitors a year.
The museum’s deputy director, Alison Gass, said that heading the second year it’s time to think about ways to build more links to the community.
“I want the museum to feel like a place where everybody thinks they belong or thinks that there’s something interesting in it for them,” she said.
Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com
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