Dear friends, members, and supporters,
We want to update you on some exciting changes taking place at El Museo. Like many other entities, the past two years has moved us toward a place of transition. Over the next year, we will see a leadership shift as we plan for the next chapter of El Museo.
William Vogel first volunteered at El Museo in 2014, became a part-time staff member in 2015, and took on the role of Executive Director in 2017. Under his leadership, El Museo expanded our organizational capacity, securing multi-year general operating support from the New York State Council on the Arts, increased funding from Erie County, and new grants from private funders. He also made important upgrades to our physical space and equipment, as well as our operations and digital systems. Will is most proud of El Museo’s variety of programming during his time, especially Your Utica Station, an art-in-transit project in 2018, and Where We’re At, an exhibition and publication made as part of our after-school arts-in-education program in 2017. His tenure as ED completes on November 30, 2021.
Will says, “Although the world has changed considerably for all of us, El Museo remains an important part of Buffalo’s art and culture scene. I want to thank all of our members, supporters, and donors for being a part of something so special, as well as our Board for taking the steps to advance and sustain El Museo through this transition. I look forward to seeing more engaging and innovative exhibitions and programs as El Museo continues into its fifth decade.”
Cheng Yang “Bryan” Lee has been an outstanding curator for the past six years. Since first joining El Museo as an intern in 2015, he has formed exciting partnerships and presented fresh programming both in our gallery space and out in the community. Our exhibitions program has showcased the breadth of contemporary visual art in Western New York and expanded into architecture and new media, always with an intentional focus on underserved artists and communities. Bryan’s numerous exhibition credits range from our annual “side-by-side” show featuring Buffalo Public Schools art teachers and students to the acclaimed Shoreline: Remembering a Waterfront Vision in 2019. Bryan will remain in a volunteer advisor role until we have secured new program staff.
Bryan says, “El Museo is a vital institution that has afforded me the opportunity to work with so many interesting people, objects, ideas, audiences. I’m most thankful for all the friendships I’ve made over the many chats, studio visits. and First Fridays in the past few years, and I’ll be sticking around for more.”
The Board of Directors is so pleased to have had the leadership of Will and Bryan, and the organization is stronger for their contributions over the years. Both look to remain involved with the organization as volunteers, and we could not be more pleased. We are working with consultant Cynnie Gaasch of Buffalo Moose Group to assist us with this organizational transition. We will ask you to participate in a strategic planning process in January–February of 2022, and from there will be conducting a search for new leadership. We look forward to hearing from you in this process. Please feel free to reach out to Cynnie at firstname.lastname@example.org or to our Board Vice President Michael Parks at email@example.com.
We hope you will join us at the opening of our 6th annual Members’ Exhibition on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 4pm, for remarks in the gallery to celebrate the service Will and Bryan have provided to the organization. Please note, proof of vaccination and face masks will be required for this event. We will also be streaming live on Instagram @elmuseobuffalo for those who cannot attend in person.
As you may know, this is El Museo’s 40th year, and we look forward to your support and input as we move forward into our next 40 years. Please consider renewing your membership today, or making a donation to support our future, at elmuseobuffalo.org/support.
El Museo’s Board of Directors