The Board of Directors at the Akron Art Museum announces their unanimous decision to appoint Jon Fiume as its new John S. Knight Director and CEO, Akron Art Museum. Fiume (he/him/his) is a former Board Trustee and has served as the Interim Executive Director since May 2020.
“As the trustees of the Museum, we believe Jon is the ideal person for Executive Director and CEO,” says Board President, Rose Andrews. “As an Akron native, he’s focused on connecting the Museum to the community. Over the past 19 months, he has maintained art as the heart and focus of our Museum while valuing and supporting the professionals who are here. We look forward to his leadership in guiding our organization through growth and strengthened relationships.”
Fiume is an active member of Akron’s civic and arts community. He brings over 25 years of leadership and support in the arts and culture sector including ten years of service as a trustee on the Akron Art Museum Board of Directors as well as a founding board member and
former Vice President and Board Trustee of ArtsNow. He also serves as a Public Arts Commissioner for the City of Akron Public Art Program, Board Director Leadership Akron, and was newly appointed as an ex officio member to the Arts Advancement Council of the University of Akron.
His former roles include Board Director and Vice Chairman, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens; Reviewer of the Knight Foundation’s Arts Challenge Akron; Board of Directors Member, Weathervane Playhouse; and Leadership Akron, class of 2006.
Before joining the Museum as the Interim Executive Director, Fiume served as the Chief Operating Officer of Mustard Seed Market & Café for six years where he oversaw all operations, as well as the development of the Highland Square location. Prior to COO of Mustard Seed Market & Café, Fiume spent fourteen years as Vice President, Retail operations of Ritzman Pharmacies Inc. where he oversaw 24 retail pharmacy locations, their growth plans and operations.
“I am honored to continue to serve the Museum as a facilitator for collaboration and excellence to both the staff and to our many supporters, inspiring generations of creative, critical thinkers through engaging and interactive experiences,” said Fiume. “It is a really exciting time to be leading this organization. The Museum is entering our centennial year and we are looking forward as we deepen our commitment to being inclusive and representational of the community we have the privilege of connecting with.”
The Board felt strongly that stability of the organization and a continued focus on the Museum’s Transformation Plan was of the utmost importance. Fiume has been responsible for leading the Museum along that path since he assumed the role of Interim Director and has proven to the board that he has made significant steps to improve the organizational culture internally and rebuild public trust. In addition, Fiume has given significant focus on rebuilding the curatorial department including the hiring of a Senior Curator, the establishment of a curatorial vision, which are first steps towards diversifying the collection.
When informed, Christine Mayer of the GAR Foundation stated: “We’ve been very encouraged by the progress the Akron Art Museum has made under Jon Fiume’s leadership. We support the Museum board in their decision to continue this positive trajectory and we believe that the institution and the Akron community will benefit from Jon’s continued guidance.”
“The Akron Art Museum is a cultural institution in our community,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan when he learned the news. “Our diverse, rich, vibrant arts scene is one of Akron’s most attractive qualities. I’m confident that the Museum will thrive under Mr. Fiume’s continued leadership and that it will be a place for all Akron residents to experience and engage with art.”
In his time as Interim Executive Director of the Akron Art Museum, Fiume has focused on the immediate needs of the institution. Along with improving organizational culture, the Museum is now fully staffed including several leadership roles. Fiume has overseen the upgrading of computer systems in order to create efficiencies. He has led building improvement efforts including the addition of security cameras in the galleries, HVAC improvements, and upgraded internet service. He has also developed, launched, and continues to oversee the Transformation Plan. In recent months, the Museum has updated its Mission Statement, established Core Values, and adopted a Diversity Equity Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) statement and Board Committee. Staff and Board members have also completed various training in DEAI. This year, the Museum will launch its Community Advisory Council which will help to increase and improve the overall relationship with all sectors of the community.