New Zealand

Restructuring “catastrophic” proposed at Wellington City Gallery

Associate by Ronnie Van Hout on the roof of City Gallery Wellington.Photo / Mark Tantram

The restructuring proposals that could see the dismissal of Wellington’s City Gallery director and chief curator are described as “catastrophic” and widespread.

Experience Wellington, an organization managed by the Wellington City Council, operates Capital E, Space Place, City Gallery, Nairn Street Cottage, Wellington Museum and Cable Car Museum.

Earlier this month, we announced a confidential restructuring proposal and are currently in discussions with 147 staff.

Herald learned that the main impetus behind the proposal is better collaboration and adding a Maori aspect to everything the organization does.

A new role for Maori Engagement Officers has been proposed, which will be part of the Executive Leadership Team.

Covid-19 is also putting pressure on its operating budget, so one team is being marketed as a way to make sure you pay attention every time you spend $ 1 so you can work more collaboratively. I will.

According to Experience Wellington’s latest annual report, 153,676 people physically visited City Gallery in 2018/19.

The following year, when these visits were reduced to 111,365, they were affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.

The number of jobs affected by the proposal is unknown, but the key positions of City Gallery director Elizabeth Caldwell and chief curator Robert Renard could be abolished under a more centralized plan. Herald understands that there is sex.

The consultation period will end on May 9, with a two-week analysis and discussion, and the final decision on the organizational structure will be made by May 26.

The City Gallery is located on the Civic Square in Wellington.Photo / Mark Mitchell
The City Gallery is located on the Civic Square in Wellington.Photo / Mark Mitchell

Bowen Galleries yesterday wrote to the Wellington City Council and the Experience Wellington Board of Directors to inform them that the changes were catastrophic, and sent an email to stakeholders calling for “preserving the gallery.”

This email was sent by Bowen Gallery directors Jenny Neligan and Penney Moir, along with Greg O’Brien, who worked as a curator at City Gallery.

They described the change as structural, substantive, and widespread.

“They will dramatically and forever change the nature of the gallery, how it operates, and what it can offer. Losing the profession will ensure that the gallery will secure major loans and exhibitions such as Hilma Af Clinton in the future. Weakens the network of professionals and relationships that made it possible. Performances. “

The trio said City Gallery is a hub for the local and national arts and culture sectors.

“The community has the right to know more about the change proposal and participate in the discussion. To that end, we hope that Experience Wellington and the Council will publish the change proposal and participate in open stakeholder discussions. I will. “

Experience Wellington CEO Dr. Sarah Rasholm acknowledged the passion of the people in the arts department, but refuted the proposal that the gallery was under threat.

“City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, under a strong cultural leader, with the help of two curators and professional staff dedicated to art education, gallery exhibitions and involvement in the art community, will bring you the best of contemporary art. I will continue to exhibit.

“The proposed change is about strengthening our institution, including City Gallery, through better allocation of resources, better collaboration across the portfolio, and adoption of teao Māori.”

Rumors are swirling that City Gallery could close the door forever, as there is little information about the proposal in public.

But city councilman Nicola Young, a portfolio leader in arts, culture and events, said that wasn’t true.

She said the City Galley is one of Wellington’s treasures and will not be closed under her supervision.

Young refused to comment on the restructuring proposal.

Restructuring “catastrophic” proposed at Wellington City Gallery

SourceRestructuring “catastrophic” proposed at Wellington City Gallery

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