American Jazz Museum statement on Museum Management Consultants, Inc. organizational assessment

For Immediate Release 

April 11, 2018

Marissa Baum

American Jazz Museum statement on Museum Management Consultants, Inc. organizational assessment

Kansas City, MO – The Museum Management Consultants, Inc. assessment report has provided an objective and knowledgeable perspective on the Museum as it exists today. It has identified the opportunities and critical issues facing the organization, and we agree with most of what has been outlined in the assessment. These findings and recommendations will help the Museum to operate more efficiently and move strategically into the future. 

The Museum’s current strategic plan already focuses on many of the concerns highlighted in some of the recommendations. These are issues we have been working to address. We are encouraged that the Museum’s public and educational programming is seen as a bright spot in the Museum, offering quality engagement with broad audiences.

We strongly believe that art is essential to the development and the success of all children in our communities. We have over 6,000 school children tour the Museum each year, making it obvious that while our permanent exhibitions are in need of an update, the Museum’s role in local and regional education cannot be underestimated.

Each First Friday, hundreds of toddlers and elementary students participate in our free Jazz Storytelling program, cultivating the next generation of jazz fans, at an important developmental stage. The pipeline created by the structure of our Kansas City Jazz Academy ensures children at even the youngest age, will have professional music education as they learn and grow, all the way through high school, offering them access to high-quality arts education to young audiences in low-income communities.

Our public programs bring top scholars and authors, celebrate local musicians’ birthdays, and showcase films and documentaries with varying topics from music to the African American experience. Each year, the museum makes a huge investment in local musicians. Over 1,745 musicians are hired annually (85% local artists and 15% national) an estimated investment of $468,649.

We are carefully reviewing the recommendations put forth by Museum Management Consultants, Inc., as implemented under the direction of the General Services Department (GSD) in response to the passage of Committee Substitute for Ordinance 170856 on October 26, 2017. We are glad that the assessment has been completed and published, and look forward to the opportunity to work diligently to move the museum in a new direction.

We greatly value our partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and will respond to the 26 recommendations and the City Manager’s Priority Recommendations, utilizing the City Auditors Office (CAO) Audit Report Tracking System (ARTS) process in the next 15 days.

We embrace opportunities for growth, and just as the process of the AJM Organizational Assessment did not interrupt the new momentum at 18th & Vine, we will ensure the Museum remains an active partner in the 18th & Vine District, even as it undergoes the hard work of re-tooling and strengthening itself.