Dana Friis-Hansen

April 30, 8:30am - 10:00am EDT. Hosted at GRAM

part of a series on Humility


About the speaker

Dana Friis-Hansen, Director and CEO of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, since July of 2011, leads the Museum’s staff of fifty in fulfilling the Museum’s vision to serve as “a cultural beacon and a civic anchor.” Fostering the Museum’s growth and impact through dynamic exhibitions, collections, learning initiatives, and community collaborations, he helped shape a strategic plan that positions the 104-year old institution as a 21st century leader in the field by serving as community convener, a catalyst for creative thinking, and a producer of content that makes art, design and creativity widely accessible. He was elected to the Association of Art Museum Directors and currently serves on the board of Experience GR, ArtPrize Advisory Council, the Varnum Diversity and Inclusion Council, the Cranbrook National Advisory Council, and the Grand Rapids River Corridor Plan Committee, among others.

Prior to joining GRAM, Friis-Hansen most recently served as Executive Director of the Austin Museum of Art from 2002-2011. Additionally, Friis-Hansen is an accomplished writer and editor with dozens of catalogues, books, articles, and published papers to his credit. He has organized over seventy exhibitions presented in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Among his curatorial distinctions, Friis-Hansen organized the travelling exhibition Video-Music: New Correlations, for the Whitney Museum Downtown Branch and a national tour; supervised a noted artist-in-residency series at the MIT List Visual Arts Center; was co-curator for TransCulture at the 1995 Venice Biennale; and organized the first retrospective of Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami. His past curatorial positions include the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas; Nanjo and Associates in Tokyo, Japan; and MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has served on the Art:21 Television Series Advisory Council; the boards and panels for the Downtown Austin Alliance, Create Austin (Leadership Council), the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the General Services Administration Public Art program, and many others. Friis-Hansen holds a B.A. in Art History from Carleton College in Minnesota and was awarded the Helena Rubenstein Fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art Museum Studies Program, and attended the Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

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