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Former DAI Director Bruce Evans Passes Away
Posted May 17, 2013
Everyone at The Dayton Art Institute was saddened to hear of the passing of former DAI Director Bruce Evans earlier this week.
Bruce (pictured here at Oktoberfest in the early 1980s) joined the museum as a curator in 1965. He was appointed Director in 1974 and served In that capacity until 1991, when he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to serve as Director of the Mint Museum of Art. During his career, he chaired numerous committees and was elected president of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Our condolences go out to his family.
Leo Bistro Opens February 22
Posted February 20, 2013
The Dayton Art Institute's new Leo Bistro restaurant will open to the public on Friday, February 22. Leo Bistro will be open during regular museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. For additional information or reservations by phone, call 937-512-0146.
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Expanded Museum Hours Announced
Posted January 31, 2013
The Dayton Art Institute has announced plans to expand its hours, reopening on Tuesdays and adding evening hours.
“We’ve heard many requests for expanded hours and more evening hours, to better accommodate busy schedules,” says Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “Beginning Tuesday, February 19, we are making it easier for you to enjoy your Dayton Art Institute. The museum will reopen on Tuesdays and add additional evening hours during the week.”
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DAI Partners with Owners of Roost Modern Italian to Launch 'Leo Bistro'
Posted November 15, 2012
When our new community gathering space opens in December, it will include an all-new restaurant, called Leo Bistro.
The Dayton Art Institute has partnered with Veritas Foods to create Leo Bistro, which will be prominently featured in the renovated café and retail space at the museum. Veritas Foods, owned by Chef Dana Downs, president, and Beth Hirschbach, vice president, operates Roost Modern Italian in the Oregon District.
“The museum’s new community gathering space is another part of our long-term goal to make The Dayton Art Institute a premiere destination in downtown Dayton,” says The DAI’s Executive Director, Michael R. Roediger. “We feel this new partnership is another important step in the process, by creating a unique dining experience at the museum.”
Leo Bistro will offer a variety of cuisines with influences from all over the world. The menu will feature a collection of soup, salads, appetizers, sandwiches and lunch-portioned entrees, as well as desserts. Additionally, Leo Bistro will offer “grab and go” items for museum guests, such as bottled waters and sodas, yogurt, house-made granolas, coffee and espresso beverages.
A few menu highlights include Hickory Smoked Mushroom soup, an Italian Nibble sandwich, Salsaulito Redfish Tacos, a Croque Monsieur sandwich, Pork Carnitas, Cappero Chicken, a Carmelized Onion, Yukon Potato and Goat Cheese Tart, and desserts such as Peach Ripieno and Crème Brulee.
Leo Bistro will be open during regular museum hours and is expected to seat 68 at tables, with bar and lounge seating for an additional 12. It will feature a casual, relaxed atmosphere, with free Wi-Fi, made possible by a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant the museum received in 2011. Museum members will receive special discounts and offerings, although museum membership is not required to dine at Leo Bistro.
“Dana & I are extremely excited to be a part of this project!” says Hirschbach. “The enthusiasm and guidance of The DAI leadership staff has taken this project to a new level. We are very enthusiastic to partner with them and bring a great restaurant to a wonderful venue for art and education. We feel strongly that the ‘art’ of our cuisine is a great fit.”
Leo Bistro takes its name from the well-known bronze sculpture, known as Leo the Lion, which has “guarded” the museum grounds since 1955 and was the Steele High School mascot in downtown Dayton prior to that.
“Leo the Lion has been an enduring landmark in downtown Dayton for more than 100 years and a longtime favorite of museum visitors,” says The DAI’s Associate Director, Jane A. Black. “He is the perfect ‘face’ for this new venture, and the experience Dana and Beth bring to The DAI are the perfect fit for Leo Bistro.”
“Michael and Jane have put in countless hours and a great deal of thought in creating the beautiful and welcoming Leo Bistro,” says Downs. “It is an honor to join them in this new stage of The DAI and become a part of their history. We look forward to serving the Miami Valley a fresh and innovative bistro menu.”
Downs and Hirschbach began Veritas Catering in 2009 and opened the Black Rooster Pasta Bar at the 2nd Street Market later that year. Roost Modern Italian, which features a fresh take on classic Italian dishes, opened in the Oregon District one year ago today, on November 15, 2011.
“Our first year of Roost Modern Italian in the Oregon District has been amazing,” says Hirschbach. “We are grateful for all of the support of the residents of the Miami Valley and its visitors. We believe that the partnership between Roost Modern Italian and The DAI is a win-win for both parties and, more importantly, a great asset to the downtown Dayton area.”
In addition to Leo Bistro, the new community gathering space will feature a completely renovated Museum Store and a space available for meetings, receptions and events. The new space combines the former Museum Store, Café and Fifth Third Private Dining Room spaces into an open area that is easily accessible from the museum’s General Motors Entrance Rotunda.
Aimee Marcereau DeGalan Named Curator
Posted September 16, 2012
The Dayton Art Institute has announced the appointment of Aimee Marcereau DeGalan as the museum’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions.
“After a year-long national search, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Marcereau DeGalan as The DAI’s new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions,” says Dayton Art Institute Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “Many exciting new things are happening at the museum this fall, and Aimee’s addition is a key component in shaping our vision of the DAI as a vibrant destination in Dayton.”
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DAI Invites Community to Watch Olympics on the Auditorium's Big Screen
Posted July 31, 2012
Following the success of its Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party last Friday, The Dayton Art Institute is inviting the community to watch Olympics coverage on the big screen in its NCR Renaissance Auditorium on select weekdays.
“The opening ceremonies looked amazing in high-definition on the auditorium’s big screen,” says DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “We are giving more people the opportunity to experience the Olympic Games on the big screen.”
Olympics coverage will be shown in the auditorium from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the following dates:
- Wednesday, August 1
- Thursday, August 2
- Friday, August 3
- Wednesday, August 8
- Thursday, August 9
- Friday, August 10.
All viewings are free and open to the public.
Please note that no outside food or beverages may be brought into the museum. The museum’s Café, located on the lower level adjacent to the General Motors Entrance Rotunda, will be open for lunch. Beverages with screw-top lids may be taken into the auditorium, but no food is allowed in this space.
The recent DAI Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party was part of its new Prime Time Party Rental Series, which will also feature a Superhero Costume Ball on August 17 and a James Bond Martini Bash on October 26.
Posted June 26, 2012
The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) has announced that it will take part in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America, to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day 2012.
“Our military personnel and their families have given – and continue to give – so much to protect our country,” said DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “This program is an important way for us to say ‘thank you’ and give something back to them.”
During the program, DAI will offer free museum general admission to all active duty military personnel and their families, as well as discounted admission to the special exhibition You Are My Superhero, which opens July 22. In addition, DAI will offer active duty military personnel and their families a $10 discount on the purchase of a new museum membership or a membership renewal.
“The Dayton Art Institute is a significant cultural asset in our community. They are opening their doors and supporting our servicemembers and their families. I’d like to thank them for participating in this program and encourage our military community to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Congressman Mike Turner.
In 2012, more than 1,800 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 300 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.
This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 70 children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,800 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”
“As we enter the third consecutive year of the Blue Star Museums program, we are happy provide an opportunity for our nation’s service members and their families to connect with our national treasures,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,800 museums across the United States, military families have an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”
ABOUT BLUE STAR MUSEUMS
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museums directly. Leadership support for Blue Star Museums has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. A complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.
For more information about The Dayton Art Institute’s participation in Blue Star Museums, please visit www.daytonartinstitute.org or call the museum at 937-223-5277. Be sure to also visit The Dayton Art Institute on Facebook (facebook.com/daytonartinstitute) and Twitter (twitter.com/daytonart) for additional information and offers.
Blue Star Museums is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.
Posted June 12, 2012
The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) has announced plans for a summer renovation project that will combine its Café and Museum Store into a new community gathering space.
“We will create a new community gathering place where visitors experience an open floor plan that unites The Café and The Museum Store, and offers extended and more consistent hours,” says DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “This new space will be all about serving visitors and making them feel welcome at DAI, by providing a fuller museum experience. Guests will enjoy coffee, wine, food, shopping and more, to inspire them to return on a regular basis.”
The plan calls for combining the existing Museum Store, Fifth Third Private Dining Room and Café spaces into a new open area, easily accessible from the museum’s General Motors Entrance Rotunda. This new space will allow The Café to remain open independent of the museum, with greater visibility and opportunities for wine tastings and food events. The new configuration will also mean greater visibility and increased traffic for The Museum Store.
The combined space will allow visitors to relax and recharge while dining and shopping. Wi-Fi, made possible by a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant the museum received in 2011, will be available in the new space, as well as throughout the museum galleries. Roediger sees the new space appealing not only to regular museum visitors, but also to young professionals, students, artists and downtown residents.
“Of the census tracts that make up the city of Dayton, the downtown tract grew by more than 17 percent in the last decade,” notes DAI Associate Director Jane A. Black. “People live downtown and want great entertainment close to home. That increase in downtown population is something we believe DAI must work to capitalize on, by being both an art museum and an entertainment center.”
The project, designed by Mitolo Studio, Inc. of Dayton, will cost an estimated $250,000. A private benefactor has agreed to fund $200,000 of the project.
Construction will begin when the current special exhibition Changing Landscapes closes on June 17, with the new space slated to open for the beginning of Oktoberfest on September 21. The Café and The Museum Store will be temporarily relocated downstairs, off the special exhibition galleries, during construction.
Posted April 23, 2012
The Zoot Theatre Company's recent
NCR Renaissance Auditorium
The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) and Dayton’s Zoot Theatre Company have announced a partnership that will make The Zoot Theatre Company a resident company in the museum’s NCR Renaissance Auditorium.
“The Zoot Theatre Company is a visual art medium whose mission fits beautifully with our vision of making our campus a destination for guests to come for a variety of enriching visual arts experiences,” says The Dayton Art Institute’s Executive Director Michael Roediger.
The new partnership will offer Zoot the ability to host a full, main-stage production season in a central, recognizable location. It will also allow the theatre company to expand its programming, especially in the area of education and workshops. Currently, Zoot must travel to a participant’s location in order to conduct mask or puppetry workshops, which have become increasing popular. With the new partnership, they will be able to host workshops at DAI.
“For Zoot and DAI, this is an obvious partnership, as both organizations specialize in visual arts, with the only difference being that Zoot’s gallery is the stage,” says The Zoot Theatre Company’s Executive Director Michael Sticka. “By becoming the resident company in the NCR Renaissance Auditorium, Zoot is now able to scale up our productions, including producing shows that are able to run two or three consecutive weeks, thus giving more theatre-goers a chance to see our stunning work.”
Through this partnership, DAI and Zoot see opportunities to collaborate on productions, education workshops, exhibits specifically tied to performances, performances specifically tied to exhibits, and festivals.
“The benefits for both organizations include expanded audiences, joint marketing and membership opportunities, and greater educational opportunities for children,” says Roediger. “We really see this as a new model for cooperation between two arts organizations.”
“This past year, we were fortunate enough to be the resident company in the Schuster Center’s Mathile Theatre, as a part of Victoria Theatre Association’s Impact Program, thanks to Ken Nuefeld and the Victoria Theatre Association’s support and generosity,” says Sticka. “With the mission of the Impact Program being to assist developing arts organizations until they ‘outgrow’ the program, I would consider this a huge testament to the success of the Impact Program.”
THE DAYTON ART INSTITUTE’S MISSION:
The Dayton Art Institute is committed to enriching lives and serving the community by creating meaningful experiences with art.
THE ZOOT THEATRE COMPANY’S MISSION:
The Zoot Theatre Company aims to stimulate the creative spirit through the collaboration of all forms of artistic expression including professional acting, masks, and puppetry by bringing theatrical arts to a variety of peoples in regional and educational venues.
DAI Receives $45,000 Gift from The Dayton Foundation for Roof Repairs
Posted February 29, 2012
The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) will be able to make an important step in completing needed building repairs, thanks to the generosity of The Dayton Foundation. DAI announced today that The Dayton Foundation pledged a gift of $45,000 to the museum for critical roof repairs.
“We are very thankful to The Dayton Foundation for making this commitment to The Dayton Art Institute,” Executive Director Michael R. Roediger said. “This gift is a positive first step in getting the facilities in the condition required to safeguard our permanent collection and to move forward with new, innovative programs and exhibitions being planned for DAI.”
The Dayton Foundation requested that DAI consider its long-term strategic needs and prepare a letter of intent that would help the new leadership team of Roediger and Associate Director Jane A. Black begin with a solid foundation.
“DAI is planning to take action in a manner that is respectful of upcoming events, while moving forward quickly with repairs that protect our incredible collection and return items to the galleries that have been taken off view,” Black said.
Roediger noted that The Dayton Art Institute also has requests out to other benefactors for repairs to plaster damage that was done in some galleries due to roof leaks. The museum is also investigating what actions are necessary to rectify a leak in a lower gallery area due to drainage issues in the Italian Cloister.
“While this is an important step, there are many other needs still to be met,” Roediger added. “Like any historic structure, our museum facility has many ongoing maintenance needs, including repairs and upgrades to the parking lot, front steps and doors, just to name a few. We have also received a $75,000 challenge grant from the Berry Family Foundation to help with repairs, and the Rip and Denise Hale Family have made a gift that will help restore the Italian Cloister.”
Individuals and organizations interested in making a gift toward repair and maintenance needs at the museum may contact DAI’s Development Department, at 937-223-5277, ext. 239. Donations may also be made online, at www.daytonartinstitute.org/annualfund.
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