GRAM appoints new director

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In 2023, the GRAM will have a new director as long time chief Dana Friis-Hansen is stepping down. Courtesy Experience GR

The Grand Rapids Art Museum Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of a new director and CEO. 

Cindy Meyers Foley

Cindy Meyers Foley comes to GRAM after a 17-year tenure at the Columbus Museum of Art, where she served as the Scantland Family Executive Deputy Director for Learning, Experience and Engagement since 2015. An accomplished educator, writer, and speaker, Foley has 30 years of experience in helping museums cultivate curiosity and drive social engagement. Foley has held curatorial, learning, and administrative roles throughout her career. Prior to her tenure at CMA, she worked at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland, Maine, and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s next Director and CEO,” said Foley. “GRAM is a national model for evolving to meet the needs of its community, and I can’t wait to work alongside such an innovative team. It is especially meaningful to be joining the arts community in a city that is growing and thriving, a perfect place for a museum and its partners to be catalysts for community creativity.”

Foley’s appointment follows a comprehensive national search led by executive search consultants Korn Ferry and the GRAM Executive Search Committee, chaired by Mitch Watt and Jim Schipper and composed of museum trustees and community leaders.

“The Grand Rapids Art Museum is thrilled to welcome Cindy Meyers Foley as its next leader,” commented GRAM Board President Erin Gravelyn. “Cindy’s proven expertise in executive leadership, and her passion for building innovative, community-centered experiences will lead GRAM boldly into the next step of its exciting future.”

As Director and CEO, Foley will lead all aspects of the Museum, including guiding the overall direction of curatorial and educational programming, cultivating new and current partnerships with local, regional, and national organizations, and championing an organizational culture that drives diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

Foley holds a master’s degree in Art Education from Ohio State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Individual Studies in the Arts from the University of Kentucky. She will begin her role as GRAM Director and CEO on June 5, 2023.

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