By Michael Grichenco // Staff Writer
The Wolfsonian-FIU has appointed a new director to lead the museum and its programs. Casey Steadman, who began his tenure as deputy director of business affairs in 2013 and then interim director in 2014. Steadman now replaces Tim Rodgers, who was appointed back in 2015.
Together with director of the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab, Rebecca Friedman, they will oversee operations for the next few years, in “an effort to bring together the humanities, arts, culture, and develop educational opportunities to students,” Steadman said.
Due to the pandemic, the museum had to close their exhibitions and began to provide virtual programming.
“All of our virtual programming, we got a lot of laudatory comments from our patrons that joined in; in some instances, we might have had better attendance, since people had more access, so we were pleased with the attendance,” he said.
With the new director, the Wolfsonian has envisioned a “five-year plan” going forward in their re-opening.
“We got quite a few things underway,” said Steadman, with ideas such as developing plans for an overall expansion of the museum and other associated renovations.
“Since opening in 1995, we haven’t really expanded or changed the footprint of the museum, so we plan to display more of our collection, develop more programming spaces so we can have more opportunities for the community as well as for the students and faculty of FIU.”
Another part of this five year plan is to fully fund compensation for their internship program, as an initiative to move away from the “unpaid internship” tradition.
The program titled “FIU Museums Insiders” seeks to cultivate a “student community of culture lovers, designers, and thought leaders” as well as provide internships for those interested in this industry.
“It’s an opportunity for students to sort of self-select, to become more than a participant in FIU museums, we’re working to build this program over the coming months and years, so students can engage and discover what wonderful resources they have available to them at FIU museums,” said Steadman.
As the Wolfsonian opened already for small-scale showings and viewings, they are now expected to be fully operational by Art Basel Week beginning in December, as well as their current and upcoming exhibitions “Aerial Vision,” from Nov. 19 to Apr. 24, and “Shameless,” from Nov. 29 to Apr. 24.