Days after the the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ chairwoman, vice chairwoman, and four other board members resigned over what they see as a mishandling of new initiatives, and a lack of focus on its local outreach, the institution has named two current board members as interim chair and co-vice chair.
The new appointees—Joseph Mizzi as chair and Joan Krevlin as co-vice chair—have affirmed their commitment to the museum’s executive director, Holly Block, easing tensions between the board of the museum and its leadership.
“The board of trustees fully supports the vision and programs that our executive director, Holly Block, has set in place and we are dedicated to pursuing them,” Mizzi said in a statement.
This was not the case under the previous board leadership. In a joint statement emailed to The New York Times upon their resignations, the outgoing chairwoman Laura Blanco and outgoing vice chairwoman Mary Beth Mandanas said, “We are alarmed by the serious nature of these issues and by the lack of an unbiased mechanism for resolving them.”
“While many of our comments concern the executive director and her lack of transparency, we are equally focused on the broader system that has been constructed to erode the power of the board,” the statement continued.
Blanco and Mandanas have cited projects such as the plans for an expensive architectural redesign and an ambitious cultural exchange program with Cuba as evidence of overreaching and lack of organization. They also took issue with Block’s involvement with a blowout party in the Bronx planned by real estate developers that drew criticism for what some thought was exploitation of the borough’s fraught history of violence and poverty.