Melody Kanschat retires. Film lives at LACMA.


The woman who advised LACMA CEO Michael Govan when he was relatively new to Los Angeles that classic film had no role at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will leave her post, according to an oddly placed announcement in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

From the Los Angeles Business Journal

County Museum COO to Retire
By Deborah Crowe

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday said that Melody Kanschat will be leaving her position of chief operating officer in May.

Kanschat, who has held several roles with LACMA since 1989, has been COO and president since July 2005. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the museum and overseeing its $60 million annual budget. She also is overseeing the museum’s $150 million expansion that includes the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion and the new Ray’s restaurant and Stark Bar set to open in March.

“Melody has helped lead LACMA through a period of unprecedented growth, not only in land and buildings, but in the increasing public accessibility of the museum that she has championed during her entire career here of more than two decades,” Chief Executive Michael Govan said in a statement. “We will miss her steady hand, extraordinary administrative skill, big appetite for new challenges, and her drive for excellence and accessibility in equal measure.”

Kanschat persisted in criticizing the program even after a widespread grass roots movement succeeded in reversing the decision, and despite a marked uptick in support and ticket sales.

“The film program is still in jeopardy,” Melody Kanschat, LACMA’s president, said last week. “Considering all the press and all the clamoring to raise the profile of the program, the amount of attendance was not knock-your-socks-off. It was a very slow growth.”

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