Metzger finalist for museum director job

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Richard Metzger, executive director of the Johnson Center for the Arts, is a finalist for the position of director of the Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Missouri.

According to a press release from the City of Springfield, it will conduct interviews of the three finalists today and the candidates will also meet with Springfield’s leadership team and will participate in a meet-and-greet session with the public.

At the meet-and-greet, all three candidates will briefly introduce themselves and will then be free to talk to those in attendance for the remainder of the session. They will also be available to the media at that time.

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Metzger said that he was contacted by the Springfield Art Museum about the position there.

“They asked to speak with me and I was flattered,” Metzger said. “I was planning to be in the area for a family meeting regarding my dad’s ongoing health issues. The interview process coincided with my trip to the area.”

Metzger said he was interested in talking about the position with the Springfield Art Museum and the timing was good.

“Seeing the operation there will make me a stronger director in the long run and will help strengthen our organization and me, at the same time,” he said. “God has a plan. I believe that. I’ll just have to wait and see what turns out.

The other candidates for the directorship of the Springfield Art Museum are Nan Curtis, director of the Forsyth Center Galleries at Texas A&M University, and Brian O. Hill, who served as the executive director of the Trenton City Museum in New Jersey for 13 years.

The Springfield News-Leader reported that Metzger has been executive director of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center since 2007, where he was charged with providing visual arts, performing arts, and art education to the citizens of Pike County.

Metzger oversaw the renovations of a 100-year-old, two-story post office into the Johnson Center for the Arts for the exhibition of visual arts, as well as a warehouse space into The Studio to present the performing arts. He also initiated ArtBridges in both the county and city school districts to help integrate art education into the curriculum of other core subjects.

Metzger was previously executive director of YA/YA, Inc., a non-profit and social services organization in New Orleans, which empowered artistically talented inner city youth to be professionally self-supported through creative expression. Prior to that, he was the executive director and curator of exhibits with the Center for Contemporary Arts in Abilene, Texas, for eight years.