Main Museum of Los Angeles, ArtCenter Announce Exploratory Partnership

Published : Monday, May 21, 2018 | 5:51 AM

Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design has signed an agreement with The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art to develop “a long-term operational and programmatic partnership” that would help the two organizations to expand their reach and scope of art and design education for students, faculty, museum-goers, and the L.A. community.

The exploratory partnership provides financial stability for The Main so that it may remain a crucial resource for the public for years to come while strengthening outreach and programming opportunities for both institutions, a Main Museum press release Thursday said.

The exploratory agreement, which takes effect on June 1 and continues through the end of 2018, will offer the institutions the time and space to set the specifics of a long-term partnership, according to the press release.

Representatives of both institutions agree that upon completion of this exploratory period, The Main would move under the umbrella of ArtCenter and the college would provide operational support for the museum. In addition, the space the museum is housed in – 12,000 square feet of renovated space within the historic Hellman building – would be leased for $1 a year to ArtCenter.

“Though we don’t yet have all the details of the collaboration finalized, we are fortunate to have the time and space to imagine the possibilities as a group,” said Allison Agsten, Director of The Main Museum. “Movements aren’t made by individuals, they are made by the collective, and to that end, the more of us that can work together, the better. The Main’s work is very much rooted in process – such as building the museum over time – so it seems only right to create a partnership with ArtCenter in a way that is true to our mode of organizing.”

“ArtCenter has been looking for a way to learn from and be part of the Downtown L.A. community,” said Lorne Buchman, President of ArtCenter. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to explore the possibilities with The Main Museum, especially given the important work they have done in the less than two years they’ve been open. We are committed to provide students with new innovative learning and making spaces that lead to their success as well as exploring new opportunities to share their work with industry and community partners. By entering into an advance agreement with The Main, we’ll explore working together under ideal conditions.”

While partnering with The Main will provide ArtCenter greater exposure in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, the College has no plans to vacate the City of Pasadena. In 2015, ArtCenter announced a comprehensive master plan that incorporates the College’s long-term plans for enhanced facilities at its Hillside Campus and establishes a planning framework to guide future development at an expanded South Campus at the gateway to the City of Pasadena.

Final City approval of the plan is expected in the next few months. The master plan will provide on campus housing for the first time in the 88-year history of the College.

The Main and ArtCenter will spend the remainder of the year working together to create a model for merging while The Main continues its regular programming. Additional details about the partnership will be shared as they develop.

“I’m energized when I think about these months ahead of us,” said Agsten. “I have already learned a great deal from ArtCenter’s team and I know that The Main will be dramatically enhanced by their intelligence, experience, and innovative approach to the world.”

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