Friday, December 10, 2010
Museum Executive Director Pam Crowe-Weisberg will see the museum through it's proposed April 2011 re-opening before she leaves her post, says Yvonne Ascher, a local attorney and board member of the Monterey History and Art Association, which operates the museum.
"She helped right the ship," Ascher says.
Crowe-Weisberg, who is currently on medical leave, initially denied she planned to leave the museum. and didn't immediately return a call for comment after her departure was confirmed.
Last year, when Crowe-Weisberg was hired, she got the okay from the city of Monterey to close the then-Monterey Maritime Museum, for one year of remodeling and re-organization,arguing the museum desperately needed a facelift. Its collection was in disarray, some of its exhibits hadn't changed in decades, and the organization was on shaky financial ground, having broken into its endowment to fund day-to-day operations. Crowe-Weisberg and long-time MHAA members battled over the museum's future: many wanted it to remain focused on the city's maritime past, while Crowe-Weisberg argued it could attract a broader audience with a more general historical focus.
Crowe-Weisberg's tenure has been marked by heavy board turnover and conflict over new policies and what some have called Crowe-Weisberg's abrupt manner.
The museum's finances are still precarious, but Crowe-Weisberg and other museum officials have said that with its collection now in order and a staff of museum professionals in place, it has a greater chance to attract the foundation grants it needs to stay afloat.
Museum officials were slated to report to the City Council at its Dec. 7 meeting, and request permission to remain closed until April 15, 2011, but their appearance has been delayed until Dec. 21.