Christie Edmonds, a veteran leader in the performing and multidisciplinary arts, will become the new director of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in October, known as the Mass MoCA. Edmonds, currently executive and artistic director of the University of California, Los Angeles Center for the Performing Arts, will replace Joseph C. Thompson, who helped found the museum and led it for more than 32 years.
“It’s a place that resonates with me,” Edmonds said in a telephone interview, “in the way they build a pipeline to help artists dream of the culture ahead.”
Edmonds said she would prioritize issues of equity and inclusion. “It’s predominantly white in that area of the world,” she said. “But the diversity of voices in Mass MoCA’s programming is important and will grow.”
While there will be a change from Southern California to New England Edmonds, each institution has the same annual operating budget — mass MOCA’s annual operating budget was recently reduced from $12 million to $10.5 million due to the pandemic. The annual cost of the University of California Center is $8 million to $10 million.
And Edmonds said he doesn’t mind a change in climate. “I lived in Minneapolis as a kid,” she said, “and I’ve always longed to go back to the snow.”
At the University of California, Los Angeles, Edmonds presents dance, theater and music as well as cross-disciplinary and experimental projects involving visual and digital arts. She said she would continue to serve as an artistic consultant, looking through the completion of a capital campaign for the renovation and opening of the university’s Nimoy Theater (in honor of actor Leonard Nimoy), scheduled for next fall. Can you
He previously served as Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Head of the School of the Performing Arts and Deputy Dean at the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne. She was also the founding executive and artistic director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and the Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) in Portland, Ore. And he has served as the inaugural consultant artistic director for the Park Avenue Armory in New York.
Mass MoCA President Timur Galen said in a statement, Edmonds “in a variety of locations and environments around the world” as well as “his clear care and commitment to the artists, their employees and collaborators.”