MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology announced Friday that it will open formal discussions with the Brevard Art Museum (BAM) Board of Trustees to merge museum operations with the university.
“The Florida Tech Board of Trustees has authorized me to begin negotiations,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “A merger with the Brevard Art Museum would allow enhancement of this important community resource. Florida Tech could expand arts programs and exhibitions to this venue, in a win-win scenario for all concerned.”
University staff members are currently completing an assessment of the museum’s facilities and holdings. Florida Tech’s intention would be to run the museum, located in the Eau Gallie Arts District, as an outreach and educational effort, Catanese said.
“Our board has also approved merger discussions with the university,” said Tom Powers, chairman of the BAM Board of Trustees. “We are very pleased with the prospect. We have been considering, for some time, the need to take a transformational ‘next step’ in the life of our museum. A merger with Florida Tech would be that step, ensuring a visual arts experience in our community for years to come.”
“For the Eau Gallie Arts District, this would be a new level of support and participation from an important community resource,” said Mary Wallis, executive director of the Eau Gallie Arts District. “The prospect of collaborating with Florida Tech in the district is exciting. We would look forward to being a part of Florida Tech’s growth, and would embrace the university’s role in the re-development of this area.”
No timetable has been confirmed for the merger, but Catanese expressed his desire to complete the deal this summer.
Florida Tech has expanded its creative and artistic offerings in recent years, adding musical ensemble groups and offering regular performances. Most notably, the university opened the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts in 2009.