One of my items from today’s “Whatever Happened to…” feature:
Then: Hired as executive director of the troubled Taubman Museum of Art at a salary of $180,000 in 2009, David Mickenberg led the financially struggling institution for three intense years. Under his tenure, attendance, memberships and corporate sponsorships grew, and the $66 million museum repositioned itself as a regional art center, abandoning the notion it could become an international tourist draw. Despite all of his efforts, the museum was in danger of shutting down when the Roanoke business leaders who helped build it, Nick Taubman and Heywood Fralin, stepped in and took charge of its board in October, providing the funds to keep the museum alive and make its admission free to all. Mickenberg resigned, calling it “appropriate” that the board choose a new leader for the next phase.
Now: Mickenberg’s employment with the museum ended in November, but he remains involved in organizing future exhibitions. Still in Roanoke, where he and his wife, Judy, purchased a house, he has been traveling and, as he said in October, “getting to know my family again.” Yet he also has done pro bono consulting in Roanoke with the Harrison Museum of African American Culture and the Conflict Resolution Center, and hints that he’s considering founding a couple of new businesses, though he declined to give details.