Last night around 5 PM we received a press release announcing that the Executive Director of the Antique Boat Museum had resigned. We immediately put a call into the contact given from the press release to ask a couple follow up questions with no returned call. So to be honest here, all we have is the press release and also an old news story from the Journal News about the elimination of the marketing position as well.Thats Right HERE
Now press releases issued at 4:55 pm on a Friday evening are clearly issued so it’s news that no one really wants out there. We get that. But why? Museums and corporations change directions all the time. Change in our Classic Boat Culture needs to happen. Despite the fact that we are all obsessed with the past and in our Woody DNA fight change, change NEEDS to happen.
WARNING: WE WILL BE USING THE WORD CHANGE A LOT IN THIS STORY. IF you don’t like that word, Click HERE.
As we have been spewing for years. We are at a cross roads in the classic boat culture. Right now! That cross roads is a transition from restoring ones past life, ones glorious summers of boating and the life it represented, to a new generation that has none of those memories, but appreciates the artistry and history that our beloved Woody Boats encapsulate. We need to change all sorts of things, the way shows are put on, we can no longer have events of boats just sitting around, even how we communicate, how we fund raise. All of it needs to be looked at, and changed, and then changed again. We live in such a time of, dare I say it again “Change”. So in a way, who is in, and who is out at the museum is not the news. As painful as it is to see people go, change is good news.
Museums all over the world right now are having many of the same issues as any passion is. Before the internet, a Museum was the only place one could experience the preserved past of any interest. A place to go to dive in so to speak. That is no longer the case, we can now with one click, read, see and talk to anyone and see anything. So museums need to find a reason to be more. To be a place to feel ones passion, to live ones passion, and to know that its a trusted place for information.
I have worked on the marketing and branding for many of the top ones in the world, The National Geographic Museum, The National Archives, to just name drop two. And museums are operated on shoe string donated budgets by volunteers and riddled with politics. Just like a church. Yes I am going there. In a sense, a museum is a church, a place to worship ones passion, or interest. The Antique Boat Museum is a church for the Antique Boat flock. It is “THE’ Antique Boat Museum and the central most important museum for our culture. So, in a way despite the sadness of good people leaving wonderful jobs. We applaud the change, even if the change isn’t good or bad, it communicates that a trusted board is at least at the helm, and exploring new things. No one has done a bad job here, nor should the drama of it all be plaid out for some sort of tabloid-ism. It is what it is, and thank you for at least looking forward for the museum rather than backwards and embracing change. It’s the times we live in. Funny thing, I am sure one day in the future this entire decade will have a museum called “The Museum Of Change”
Here is the official Press Release from Last night.
ANTIQUE BOAT MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RESIGNS
CLAYTON, New York (September 18, 2015) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM) announced today that Frederick “Fritz” H. Hager, the Museum’s Executive Director since January 2012, has resigned his position effective immediately.
Hager will remain with the museum in a consulting role through the end of the year.
Rick W. Tague, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said “Fritz and the Board have thoughtful, professional difference of opinions regarding the operational priorities and strategic direction of the ABM. As a result, the Board made the decision to seek new leadership and Fritz agreed to step aside as executive director.”
John C. MacLean, the ABM’s Executive Director from 2002 through 2010, will serve as interim executive director while the ABM conducts a search for a permanent successor.