Blogger defends privilege: Real Clear Arts Dobrzynski calls public input on museum’s new director “bad”!

by Bill Davenport September 12, 2011

Judith Fowler, Springfield, MO artist and board member who spoke up.

In an amazing post today in her ArtsJournal blog, Real Clear Arts, Judith Dobrzynski decries the Springfield, Missouri, Art Museum board’s decision to hold a public meeting and solicit input on the selection of a new director. Though it’s the city-run art museum in a city whose administration’s motto is “working with community for ethical, responsible government,” Dobrzynski feels that the org has gone too far in the name of access, allowing artists and the public to comment on a process she feels should be limited to board members. With the DMA, MFAH, AMOA, Arthouse all looking for new directors, the customary secrecy surrounding the selection of these public figures needs examination, not defense!


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Judith H. Dobrzynski September 12, 2011 - 11:45

I think you have misinterpreted my post — possibly deliberately. I am not “defending” privilege at all. I am saying that the museum board botched the handling of public input, leading to a question about boundaries between what is the purview of the director, the board and the public.

Bill Davenport September 12, 2011 - 16:34

Sorry if I misinterpreted; are you saying the problem was the unsatisfying method the board used to gather comments (post-it notes) that led to an unplanned public speaking? It seemed to me as if you thought the public input itself was the problem.

You said “choosing a director with so much public input, voiced at a public meeting, will raise expectations about that poor director’s consultations with the public in the future.” Explaining why too much public input is bad, no?

You go further, sympathizing with the “poor director” who might have to consult with the public, as if public input was necessarily a bad thing.


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