MOCAD Announces Dr. Charles Boyd and Lynn Arsht Gandhi as Museum Board of Directors Co-Chairs
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) recently announced the election of Dr. Charles Boyd and Lynn Arsht Gandhi to the positions of Co-Chair of the museum’s Board of Directors. This shared leadership role represents an integral part of MOCAD’s ongoing administrative reforms, bringing new energy to the museum’s diverse leadership team and allowing for new pathways of communication and collaboration between board executives and museum staff.
Dr. Boyd and Gandhi represent two decades of combined experience serving on MOCAD’s Board of Directors. Appointed in July with overwhelming approval by the Board’s vote, their position of co-authority represents months of ongoing conversation from within MOCAD’s leadership, as well as with museum staff, grant foundations and the city’s arts community at large. As part of an ongoing restructuring effort aiming to evenly distribute institutional powers, the decision to divide responsibilities on the executive level was the result of feedback and insight from community members, staff and key stakeholders. “I’m proud to be a part of the team that ensures MOCAD’s ongoing growth and success,” Says Dr. Boyd, “MOCAD is contemporary art for Detroit. It’s the pulse of the city, and it’s so exciting to see that pulse reinvigorated.”
Gandhi notes, “MOCAD is entering a new period of institutional maturity. The museum has grown from being the dream of a few of Detroit’s great art enthusiasts to a mainstay of the city’s unique aesthetic culture. We’re going to do everything we can to ensure it continues to flourish.”
Gandhi and Dr. Boyd’s position of shared authority will resist formal divisions of labor, representing a path toward collaborative cross-oversight and an open, integral structure that speaks to the museum’s ongoing interest in a reformed and attentive culture of leadership. “The whole board is excited about this change, and we are in lockstep about our next moves going forward. Charles and Lynn represent an incredible, diverse team of arts advocates who have helped make MOCAD what it is today,” says Founding Director Marsha Miro.
Looking toward next steps for museum leadership, Dr. Boyd and Gandhi agree that the board’s top priority is the appointment of two positions, new Artistic Director and Developmental Director.
Following a series of productive conversations with former and current staff members of the museum, which began in 2020 with a series of proposed administrative changes, the board remains considerate of the important interpersonal skills required for the museum’s creative leadership. A search committee is currently focused on finding an Artistic Director worthy of the institution, and the board continues to meet with representative museum staff members each week.
In accepting their new position of co-leadership, Dr. Boyd and Gandhi expressed appreciation for Elyse Fulton, MOCAD’s previous board chair, whom they note worked hard to help the museum change course and take accountability for previous leadership issues.
“We’re immensely grateful for Elyse’s help in steering the museum through this difficult time,”
Says Dr. Boyd.
Given its smaller size and operational budget relative to other Detroit cultural institutions, MOCAD is a unique player in Detroit’s arts community, punching above its weight to attract visitors from across the nation and exhibiting artists from around the world in the interest of enriching the city’s local populace. The museum, which was founded in 2006 in the model of a non-collecting Kunsthalle, is one of Detroit’s eminent centers for community gathering and collective conversation and plays a significant role in local cultural discourse. In addition to attracting some of the most important emerging and established players in contemporary art, MOCAD maintains its original mission to showcase the best and brightest artistic voices born and raised in Detroit and the Great Lakes region.
MOCAD’s Board of Directors is currently the most diverse leadership team of any museum in Detroit.
In this exciting moment of renewal, the board also welcomes four new members, Cezanne Charles, Abir Ali, Troy Mooyoung and Marc Schwartz, all bringing deep roots in Detroit’s creative sector. The board has also recently contracted with Michigan Roundtable to organize museum-wide training in Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion (DEAI), with sessions expected to commence early this fall.
Meanwhile, the museum continues to exhibit successful and incisive shows which reflect and engage the Detroit community, including a current retrospective reflecting on Black Abstraction, and an upcoming solo exhibition by Jason REVOK.
MOCAD’s annual fundraising gala will resume in October, in support of a capital campaign which,
Gandhi notes, “aims to upgrade the museum’s iconic Albert Kahn-designed building, with retrofittings that will allow the museum to be climate-controlled for year-round visitation and aims to make the museum a LEED-certified green building.”
Dr. Charles Boyd is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He completed undergraduate studies at Howard University, where he graduated in three years. Dr. Boyd was a full-time faculty member at the University of Michigan and served as Associate Chief of Staff of the University of Michigan Health System. Arsht Gandhi is a partner
and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP in the firm’s Detroit office, where she is a member of the Tax, Benefits & Estate Planning Practice. Practicing for more than three decades, Gandhi has acquired a wealth of experience as a sophisticated tax attorney, including 14 years as corporate in-house counsel.