Thursday, August 13, 2020
Pandemic Cuts Force Shift at Sun Valley Museum of the Arts
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Christine Davis-Jeffers presided over the rechristening of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ brand on Jan. 29—just a month before the coronavirus that would turn lives upside down was publicly confirmed in Washington State.
   
Saturday, July 25, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Christine Davis-Jeffers is stepping down from her post as executive director of the Sun Valley Museum of Art due to staffing changes necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial cutbacks resulting from the pandemic led to an agreement between the board and Davis-Jeffers that she should leave her position and allow the board and key staff to shepherd the organization in the coming months.

“The board and staff of SVMoA are deeply grateful to Christine for her years of service to this organization,” said Board President Ellen Gillespie. “Christine’s leadership was instrumental in stewarding SVMoA through many challenges and changes, including our recent rebranding and a shift in programming necessitated by the pandemic.  Her work has enriched the Museum and, by extension, the entire Wood River Valley. We all owe her a debt of gratitude and wish her well in the future.”

Davis-Jeffers has served in the role of executive director since July of 2016 when she was promoted to the position after a six-month tenure as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to the COO appointment, Davis-Jeffers served as director of SVMoA’s annual wine auction fundraiser.

As SVMoA’s executive director, Davis-Jeffers oversaw strategic planning, managed the organization’s brand and name change from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts to the Sun Valley Museum of Art and helped refine the organization’s governance and operations structures. She also helped navigate The Museum through the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been one of my greatest joys to serve this community through my work at Sun Valley Museum of Art,” said Davis-Jeffers. “I am so proud of this staff and our accomplishments over the last four years. I am leaving this organization in a far better place than when I arrived and know it is in good hands for the future. This pandemic has been hard on arts organizations, but SVMoA is a valuable asset to our community and the current team will find a way to meet the challenges ahead.”

The COVID-19 hit as the Sun Valley Museum of Arts was preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary and as Company of Fools was getting ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Subsequently, the Fools had to cancel their season and SVMoA, its popular summer concerts.

While the Museum had to shift its wine auction online, the auction’s paddle up did well, receiving three gifts of $50,000, one of $25,000, three of $15,000 and multiple gifts of $10,000, $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000.

Every $1,000 gift was matched up to $50,000 by Wells Fargo Private Bank, meaning the SVMoA raised at least $522,000 through its Paddle Up.

There were 175 bidders and 30 winning bidders on auction lots, noted Wine Auction Chairman Peter Burke.

Burke called the auction—the Museum’s main source of funding--a success.

“With your help Sun Valley Museum of Arts will be able to deliver another year of transformative arts experiences to our community at a time when the arts matter more than ever,” he said.

The SVMoA board and staff members will analyze their mission, staffing structure, audience needs and the funding mechanisms of the organizations over the coming weeks. They will also hold community discussions and conversations with funders and organizational partners to sharpen the Museum’s programmatic focus in light of the changes prompted by COVID-19 and evolving community needs.

 

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