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Major Capital Projects

I have raised project funds for all the museums at which I have worked, whether for public facilities, gallery expansions, museum acquisitions or scholarly projects. I consider fundraising and project management to be an integral part of my life’s work.

At the Museum of Mankind (British Museum), London, 1989-1990, I fundraised for its first coffee shop. I identified and cultivated the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia to fully fund the Cafe de Colombia at the museum which was designed around the theme of pre-Hispanic Colombian works in gold ($280,000).

At the Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums, Brighton. 1992-1994, I was the project lead for the refurbishment and curatorial re-envisioning of the ethnography and archaeology galleries. I curated, organized and implemented the reorganization and relational connections between the two galleries. The galleries established a dialogue between aspects of the ethnographic and archaeological collections, and the points of view of their originating or historical communities and the 19th and 20th century collectors who donated works to the museum ($600,000). 


At the Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums, Brighton. 1994-1995. I was the founder and head of The James Green Centre for World Art, I initiated and organized the transfer of a pre-eminent historical collection of textiles, photographs, notes and books from the estate of Colonel James Green and negotiated an operating endowment. I raised additional funds to establish the African section of the Centre’s library ($860,000).


At the Horniman Museum 1997-1999, I was project lead for the refurbishment and re-envisioning of the World Cultures Gallery to become African Worlds and the conversion of a second gallery to become the Centennial Gallery. I organized and coordinated a three-tiered collaborative project for African Worlds. This involved the establishment of a curatorial committee that included researchers from Africa and the Caribbean; the commission of seven new interpretive and collection-based projects; commissions to five contemporary African artists, and an outreach project to elicit interpretations of the collection from first generation members of London’s diverse African communities. The exhibition, completed in 1999 and open until 2016, was the first ‘permanent’ gallery on African art in the United Kingdom ($1,500,000).


At the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology 2004-2010, I was project lead for The Partnership of Peoples Project. The project, initiated by previous MOA director, Professor Ruth Phillips (1997-2002) with a successful application to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation for $17 million, had become stalled after her departure until 2004. I led a team to revise scope and building plans, incorporate unplanned public facilities including two temporary exhibition galleries, shop and café. Later, I reorganized staff into four streams to develop each of the project's components. I appointed a development officer and together we launched a campaign that raised $38.5 million of private/public funding to instigate and complete building work and installation. The project included First Nation partners, Musqueam, Stö:lō, and the Kwakwaka’wakw community of Alert Bay. It opened ahead of schedule and on budget in time for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 (total cost $56,000,000).


At the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, 2014-2016 I was project lead for fundraising for The Elspeth McConnell Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks. After the donation of one of the world’s most important collections of historical Northwest Coast art to the Museum, I with curator Bill McLennan, devised and presented a project to the donor to fund a new gallery of Northwest Coast masterworks. We received a gift of $3 million, augmented by $500,000 from the Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund to convert and install the gallery and publish a catalogue to include this and other collections held by the Museum. Curatorial work, using a collaborative model that brought together over 25 knowledge holders and artists was coordinated by Bill McLennan, Karen Duffek and Jordan Wilson between 2016-2017 ($3,500,000).  



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