Efroymson back at IMOCA

May 30, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
I'll take a break from my NYC dispatches so that IBJ reporter Kathleen McLaughlin can offer this report.

Philanthropist Jeremy Efroymson has a rather unorthodox plan for leading the contemporary art venue that he co-founded out of financial straits.

Efroymson will become executive director of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, or iMoCA, the organization announced Friday. He will work for free while implementing his strategy of using freelance curators.

“It is a fairly unique scenario,” co-founder Stephen Schaf said. “We’ve always kind of don things differently at iMoCA.”

The freelance curators will replace iMoCA staff curator Christopher West. His last day was Friday.

Schaf admitted that iMoCA is struggling to make ends meet. He said the board of directors discussed folding, but Efroymson, who is not currently on the board, stepped forward. “Some people think it takes somebody throwing half a million dollars at museum,” he said. “It takes so much more than that.”

Efroymson has been a key financial supporter, as well as visionary. For the past three years, he underwrote the salary of former executive director Kathy Nagler, Schaf said.

Nagler departed recently to help the Indianapolis Museum of Art with fund-raising. Schaf said iMoCA didn’t have the money to support her position after July 1. The museum, which has galleries at 340 N. Senate Ave., has one other paid staff person.

The museum tends to receive grants for specific shows, but has not been able to raise enough operating revenue, Schaf said. “No one wants to give us money to pay for equipment. No one wants to give us money to pay for technology. No one wants to give us money to pay for salaries.”

The new strategy is an attempt to capitalize on the grant-making trend. Schaf said curatorial expenses will be built into the budgets for specific exhibitions. He added that West will curate an exhibit running in conjunction with the August Gen Con convention, as well as an architecture show in the spring.

Schaf declined to talk about iMoCA’s finances because he said they’re under review for the upcoming fiscal year. The most recent available financial statement filed with the Internal Revenue Service is from 2006 and shows iMoCA with revenue of about $104,000.

Your thoughts?
  • Dear Readers,

    The above blog posts contains an error about the extent of Jeremy Efroymson's financial support for the executive director position at iMOCA. Katherine Nagler, who recently left the position, informs us that Efroymson made a salary grant for two years, not three.

    We'll update the blog post soon. (I don't have access to the magical blogware.)

    -- Kathleen
  • This is astounding news about IMOCA! This museum, I have found, confuses a GREAT number of people... unfortunately. Looking forward to the future ideas!

    Maybe... if the people who are actually interested in the arts, understood the financial specifics... then there would be more support. I get involved with the arts on a 'low budget', donating time & artwork, networking, and talking up the arts in Indiana.

    Artists and Patrons/Sponsors would be wise to work together!

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. President Obama has referred to the ACA as "Obamacare" any number of times; one thing it is not, if you don't qualify for a subsidy, is "affordable".

  2. One important correction, Indiana does not have an ag-gag law, it was soundly defeated, or at least changed. It was stripped of everything to do with undercover pictures and video on farms. There is NO WAY on earth that ag gag laws will survive a constitutional challenge. None. Period. Also, the reason they are trying to keep you out, isn't so we don't show the blatant abuse like slamming pigs heads into the ground, it's show we don't show you the legal stuf... the anal electroctions, the cutting off of genitals without anesthesia, the tail docking, the cutting off of beaks, the baby male chicks getting thrown alive into a grinder, the deplorable conditions, downed animals, animals sitting in their own excrement, the throat slitting, the bolt guns. It is all deplorable behavior that doesn't belong in a civilized society. The meat, dairy and egg industries are running scared right now, which is why they are trying to pass these ridiculous laws. What a losing battle.

  3. Eating there years ago the food was decent, nothing to write home about. Weird thing was Javier tried to pass off the story the way he ended up in Indy was he took a bus he thought was going to Minneapolis. This seems to be the same story from the founder of Acapulco Joe's. Stopped going as I never really did trust him after that or the quality of what being served.

  4. Indianapolis...the city of cricket, chains, crime and call centers!

  5. "In real life, a farmer wants his livestock as happy and health as possible. Such treatment give the best financial return." I have to disagree. What's in the farmer's best interest is to raise as many animals as possible as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. There is a reason grass-fed beef is more expensive than corn-fed beef: it costs more to raise. Since consumers often want more food for lower prices, the incentive is for farmers to maximize their production while minimizing their costs. Obviously, having very sick or dead animals does not help the farmer, however, so there is a line somewhere. Where that line is drawn is the question.