Tim Rodgers has been named director of The Wolfsonian-Florida International University museum, library, and research center in Miami Beach, Florida, according to a May 8 announcement from FIU provost and executive vice president Kenneth G. Furton.
Rodgers announced recently his plan to resign as director of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where he's worked for six years. His last day at SMoCA will be May 18, and he'll join the Wolfsonian on July 1.
"I am very pleased to accept the position of Director of The Wolfsonian, a museum that I have long admired," Rodgers says via e-mail. "I am equally pleased to be moving to Miami, a city that recognizes the power of art and culture to drive the economy. The citizens of Miami continue to invest significantly in the arts because they have witnessed how contemporary art in particular has transformed the way the world thinks of the city. Yes, the beaches are lovely, the ocean enticing, but now the arts provide another equally compelling reason to visit or live in Miami."
According to an April 13 report from FIU Student Media, Rodgers was one of three candidates being considered for the Wolfsonian-FIU directorship, which had been vacant since January 2014.
News of Rodgers' resignation followed an announcement from Scottsdale Cultural Council president and CEO Neale Perl, who oversees operations of SMoCA, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and Scottsdale Public Art, that those organizations will be restructured this year. Perl's plans include relocating senior staffers' offices to the same building as the Council's administrative headquarters.
Recently, rumors have been circulating that Perl is looking to eliminate the directorship positions at each of the three organizations.
"I hope Arizona comes to a fuller recognition of the power of art and culture to drive a tourist-based economy," Rodgers says via e-mail. "I also wish that all citizens of the state would come to understand the power of a creative class to create a community that embraces aesthetics, imagination and unrecognized possibilities."
Rodgers concludes, "I thank the staff at SMoCA and the City of Scottsdale for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art."
Sara Cochran will serve as SMoCA's interim director after Rodgers leaves the museum. No plans have been announced to search for a permanent director.