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Karen Brosius Named Executive Director of Columbia Museum of Art


The Columbia Museum of Art's board of trustees recently announced that Karen Brosius would become the museum's new executive director. Board president Carroll Heyward announced that Ms. Brosius was offered and has accepted the position of executive director and will begin her tenure early in January 2004.

Ms. Brosius has worked in all facets of arts management and outreach and comes to the museum from Altria Group, Inc., New York, New York, where her most recent position there was Director of Media Relations. She has served as a senior philanthropic, arts, and communications executive at the company. She has worked closely with leaders in government, nonprofit, business and the media, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and local and state arts councils. She has also worked with leaders in national service organizations such as the American Association of Museums and the Council on Foundations. In addition, Ms. Brosius worked on major artist retrospectives, including Jacob Lawrence, John Biggers, Frida Kahlo and a number of living artists including Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Struth and Michael Lucero. Her 21 years with Altria -- parent company of Kraft Foods and Philip Morris -- included tenures as Director of Corporate Affairs and Director of Corporate Contributions and Public Affairs. Prior to Altria, Ms. Brosius served as Public Affairs Officer for The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York and as Researcher for Research Foundation of the City of New York.

Board president Carroll Heyward says, "Karen's prestigious corporate and cultural credentials and world-wide connections will be a tremendous asset to the Columbia Museum of Art. She brings many exciting possibilities to the position. The executive search involved many community leaders, museum board and staff, and Karen was enthusiastically chosen from a group of quality candidates."

For the past ten years, Ms. Brosius has served on the board of directors for Arts & Business Council, overseeing the sponsorship of numerous programs, including the Encore Awards and the multi-cultural internship program. She also has served on the boards of ArtTable, Funders Concerned About AIDS, National AIDS Fund, Danspace and City Harvest as well as serving on the Council on Foundations Corporate Committee, Council on Foundations Media and Public Affairs Committee and Women in Communications.

Ms. Brosius received a master's degree, summa cum laude, from City University of New York, Hunter College. She also attended the Juilliard School of Music; Ecoles d'arts americaines, Fontainebleau, France; Bryn Mawr, Avignon, France; and Butler University, Indiana.

Ms. Brosius says, "I am grateful to the museum board, staff, and community leaders for their support and am delighted to come to the Columbia Museum of Art. I look forward to working with the entire community to make this institution as exciting as it can be and make Columbia my new home. The museum's collections, exhibitions and programs offer the public access, knowledge, and inspiration to the beauty of the world around us. I would also like to recognize Bob Shirley for his excellent leadership as interim director, and look forward to working with the wonderful staff."

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