When the Gibbes Museum opened in 1905, the nation celebrated what Charleston has always understood: the power of art – to inspire our imagination, heal our hurt, and nourish our souls.

Setting Goals for 2017

Gibbes Staff

At this time last year, the Gibbes staff had turned the page on 2015 and was staring down the gauntlet of a heavy to-do list in order to reopen the Museum in May 2016. At that point, we put together a list of resolutions and goals that we hoped to achieve during the year ahead. Looking back at that list, we’re so excited to see how much we accomplished in 2016!

Creative Director Erin Banks feels her 2016 resolutions were a slam-dunk! We got a fancy new logo (courtesy of the talented Gil Shuler). We built a beautiful new website (thanks to the web-savvy team at Blue Ion) that is a million times more lovely and functional than our previous website. And our DropBox is now filled to the brim with hundreds of new photos from blockbuster exhibitions and events, which makes it all the more fun to create print materials for the Museum.

Rebecca Sailor, curator of education, sold out all 6 camp sessions (which were held in the building for the first time ever)! She’s been on a tear developing new classes for visitors of all ages (check out our calendar to see what’s happening now). Curatorial Assistant Becca Heister developed a version of a “Museum Hack” tour at the Gibbes, which was a smash hit (and the next one is coming up on January 25).

Zinnia Willits, director of collections and operations, safely moved the collection back into the building and led a team through tireless hours of installation to reopen the galleries on time! And her behind-the-scenes tour on the first Wednesday of every month is a crowd pleaser for sure. Have you been yet?

Jen Ross, director of development, saw the capital campaign reach $13.2 of the $13.5 million goal. Want to help us get to the top? You can still donate to the Campaign for Excellence today.

And the successes go on and on and on! We couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of our members, donors, volunteers, board members, and corporate partners and the Charleston community that has rallied around us.

We had so much fun setting goals and achieving them, that we set some new targets (and kept a few) for 2017. Take a look at what we have planned for the year ahead:

Courtney Soler, Director of Finance and Administration
–Meet our full financial capital campaign giving goal in order to have the best financial position as we move forward and discover what is the new “normal” financial reality for the Gibbes.

–Operate within our budgeted expenditures and achieve our budgeted revenues.

–Properly and effectively forecast our short-term and long-term financial goals which align with our strategic plan.

The Gibbes Museum reopened in May 2016.

Sara Arnold, Curator of Collections
–Develop a mobile application for the permanent collection galleries to share fascinating information about our rich collection through audio, video, and other digital content that enhances the story of art.

–Together with our Collections Committee, review and revise our Acquisitions Profile to align with the museum’s new strategic plan.

Gibbes Museum galleries
Visitors enjoy the newly installed permanent collection.

Jennifer Ross, Director of Development
–For the past five years, our small staff has been solely focused on the renovation while continuing all of our fundraising and programs. My goal in 2017 is to help share our wonderful Gibbes story—including best practices and lessons learned—with other museums and nonprofits.

–Unveil our new, 10-year strategic plan so that we can set individual goals for our departments while planning for more amazing exhibitions, Visiting Artists, classes, and programming.

Guggenheim opening
Members attend the opening of the Guggenheim exhibiiton, Realm of the Spirit.

Rebecca Sailor, Curator of Education
–Expand our class offerings for all ages.

–Increase visitor interaction with our Visiting Artists.

Classrooms at the Gibbes
Students ready to create masterworks the classrooms at the Gibbes.

Jena Clem, Special Events Manager
–Have the Museum booked with private events every weekend.

–Grow our staff to support the increased programming and events we offer.

Wedding in the Campbell Rotunda
Photo by Tim Will Photography.

Zinnia Willits, Director of Collections and Operations
–Continue to provide and improve upon interactive, unique behind-the-scenes tours and programs in the Gibbes spectacular new Collections Storage Center.

–Continue to actively share the Gibbes success with museum colleagues across the state and the region through involvement and leadership in professional museum organizations.

–Eat fewer Tic Tacs and drink less coffee to manage stress (this will be on the resolution list EVERY YEAR).

Gibbes open storage
Zinnia Willits tours visitors through our open storage collection area.

Erin Banks, Creative Director
–Win more awards for our print materials. Last year we won 3 awards from the Southeastern Museum Conference and a Spark! Award, so I’m hoping to bring back more trophies with clever new collateral.

–Create more print materials that will have a long shelf-life, such as exhibition catalogs and gallery guides. And then win some awards for those pieces.

–Try all of the vegetarian options at Café Gibbes.

Street Party Invite
Erin’s award-winning invitation design from the Gibbes annual Street Party.

Lasley Steever, Director of Programs and Digital Engagement
–Integrate the online collection database into the new Gibbes website. Studies have shown that a bigger online presence leads to an increase in museum visits.

–Establish the Gibbes as a creative center for all arts, focusing on partnership with performing arts organizations, artists, experts, and art historians.

–Continue to grow our Visiting Artist series and bring the best contemporary artists to Charleston to engage with our visitors.


Published January 6, 2017

Sonya Clark, Pluck and Grow
Visitors participate in Visiting Artist Sonya Clark’s “Pluck and Grow” project.
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