Charlotte’s oldest and largest museum has a new president and CEO. Mint Museum officials announced today that Dr. Todd Herman will head the museum, starting August 20.
Herman comes to Charlotte from Little Rock, Arkansas where he was the director and CEO of the Arkansas Arts Center. There he oversaw a budget of more than $6 million and a full-time staff of 50; close to the Mint’s operating budget of more than $10 million and 54 full-time employees.
Mint officials say Herman was instrumental in helping the Arkansas museum repay its debt and increase its endowment by raising $16 million in a fundraising campaign.
Herman says before he makes any major decisions about the museum, he wants to talk to arts and non-arts leaders and people in the city to get feedback on how they view The Mint and how it can better serve their needs. He says that will give him a better idea of what the city’s challenges are and how The Mint can fit in. One thing he is sure of is that he wants to make the museum more diverse and inclusive.
“You do that through making yourself accessible, open, actively going out into different communities and just letting people know that you are a resource for everyone,” Herman said. “You do that through programming. You can do that through the exhibitions that you put on.”
Herman says he does not have any particular exhibits in mind that he would like to see at The Mint at this point. But he does want to make sure that future exhibitions and programs are relevant to the community as a whole.
“A diverse lineup is what’s needed. One that reflects different voices and different approaches and different visions in the community and in the world,” Herman said.
Prior to Arkansas, Herman was the chief curator for six years at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina. He says during those years, he visited The Mint often, got to know its collection well and lectured there on an occasion. Herman says he didn’t grow up thinking he’d one day lead a museum like The Mint or any arts facility. As a student at James Madison University, Herman was a microbiology major. He never took an art class or visited a museum until he was in college. He says through those experiences he developed a passion for art and changed his career path.