Akron Art Museum Director Mark Masuoka Has Resigned May 19th, 2020 by Noor Hindi and Rosalie Murphy Akron Art Museum director Mark Masuoka resigned Tuesday morning, according to a letter emailed to museum employees that was shared with The Devil Strip. “In accepting Mark’s resignation, the Board agreed it was time for a change in leadership that represents an opportunity to create a new direction for the Museum as we build a new organizational culture for the future,” the email reads in part. Masuoka’s resignation follows months of strife within the museum. In June 2019, 27 Akron Art Museum employees sent a letter to the board alleging that leadership created and promoted “a pervasive culture of race and gender discrimination and bullying which have resulted in a dysfunctional work environment and severely unhealthy turnover rate.” Read the background: ‘A preventable disaster:’ Akron Art Museum employees, former chairman say museum’s leaders let them downAkron Art Museum board eliminated members’ voting power in September 2019, following investigation Following the June letter, the Board of Directors hired a law firm to investigate employees’ allegations. Two senior museum employees subsequently left the staff. In September, the Board of Directors reaffirmed their support of Masuoka to the staff. They also amended the museum’s Code of Regulations to eliminate museum members’ ability to vote to confirm new board members, becoming a “self-perpetuating board” instead. At the end of April, ArtNews reported on employees’ complaints. Weeks of press reports followed, investigating the letter’s allegations, concerns about Masouka’s management and doubts from a major museum donor. According to the May 19 letter, Jon Fiume will serve as interim director of the museum while the Board of Directors searches for a new director. Fiume was Chief Operating Officer of the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe for six years, ending in January, according to his LinkedIn profile. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Akron and ArtsNow. This story will be updated as we learn more. Reach Noor Hindi at email@example.com and Rosalie Murphy at Rosalie@thedevilstrip.com. Photo: Cameron Robinson via Akron Stock Tell your friends:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related 2 Responses Mary T. O’Connor May 19th, 2020 This is a sad thing… such a waste – time and morale and resources. I don’t know what happened, but clearly whatever it was – it was not sudden. Hopefully whatever the failures were can be seen with clarity – and avoided in the future. Art and public and everyone working in the underpaid field of arts administration deserve better. This is a precious resource in our community. Whatever we all can do, please include us in helping recover!! Reply ‘You want to feel heard, you want to feel seen:' Eight Akron artists on equity and inclusion at the Akron Art Museum | THE DEVIL STRIP May 29th, 2020 […] Akron Art Museum Director Mark Masuoka Has Resigned […] Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.