New Deputy Director for Museum Services Appointed at IMLS

Paula Gangopadhyay, deputy director of museum services, IMLS

Paula Gangopadhyay, deputy director of museum services, IMLS

At Museums Advocacy Day, Kathryn Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, introduced the new deputy director for museum services, Paula Gangopadhyay.

I didn’t get a chance to meet her but she’s familiar with the challenges and opportunities that are faced by history museums and historic sites on a daily basis.  She was appointed last month and according to the IMLS web site:

She has worked in small, medium and large museums and cultural organizations, as well as government, business and education sectors, where she led systemic change and positive community impact at local, state and national levels. Ms. Gangopadhyay is a respected thought-leader on innovation in education and has been the recipient of several state and national awards and recognitions. Ms. Gangopadhyay has held a variety of positions including, serving as the Chief Learning Officer at The Henry Ford museums from 2008 to 2015; Executive Director of the Plymouth Community Arts Council from 2006 to 2008; Curator of Education, Public Programs, Visitor Services and Volunteers at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids from 2002 to 2006; and Executive Director of the Great Lakes Center for Education, Research and Practice from 2000 to 2001. She was Executive Director of the Commission for Lansing Schools Success (CLASS) from 1998 to 2000 and Executive Director of Meridian Historical Village from 1995 to 1998.  As an independent evaluation consultant for over seven years, she has led formative and summative evaluation directed at producing measurable outcomes. Gangopadhyay received her B.A. and M.A. in history from Indore University (India), her post-graduate certification in archival, museum, and editing studies from Duquesne University, Pittsburg, PA, and an education policy fellowship from the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL).

She’ll probably be visiting national and regional museum conferences this year, so be sure to welcome her!

One thought on “New Deputy Director for Museum Services Appointed at IMLS

  1. William Hosley

    We have a crisis with Federal funding for the arts and culture. Its not about too little money. Its about how its allocated and the sprawling impediments to small to mid-size museums. Its never been studied or discussed. Good guess that 85% of Federal funding for museums goes to the biggest, richest 5% of museums; that 10% more goes to the next 10%; that the remaining 5% only reaches the next 15% – leaving exactly NOTHING for the smallest 70% of museums!

    Or as one observer put it in a comment on Housing Our History: – “attended a workshop n Minneapolis….told that the feds “really want” to give the little guys – especially those in the Midwest – grants, but those that they receive are (1) generally poorly written and (2) not a logical next step in preservation needs (i.e. they want to see first that a CAP or a MAP has been done; second, that a long-term preservation plan has been created; third, disaster planning, environmental monitoring, proper storage if there are museum collections, and all the other non-sexy things have been addressed; fourth, conservator surveys of collections; and THEN conservation of specific objects). If you do anything out of order, it gets chucked. If there are typos, misspellings, mistakes in arithmetic, it gets chucked. ….Coming out of the workshop, I felt like I had some tools, but after reading this article I wonder if those tools will be enough. The big guys have whole teams of grant writers”

    None of this is funny. My correspondence with IMLS senior advisor Christopher Reich a couple years ago, elicited this:

    “I enjoyed our conversation today and will share your thoughts and perspectives with our deputy director for museums, Claudia French. We continue to seek ways to reach out in a variety of ways to smaller and perhaps underserved museums that are making important contributions to small communities throughout the country.”

    PERHAPS??? Get real. IMLS and NEH and NEA need to wake up and deal with this or accept that most of the museums in this country (most are not large) will not be wrong if they oppose the whole Federal funding mess. It was a good idea 40 years ago – but it increasingly seems to have turned in on itself and since our state humanities and arts groups take their cues from the Feds – its a problem.

    https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-investigation-finds-significant-systematic-bias-in-federal-funding-to-museums

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