This week’s rollout of a name change and new logo for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts could help the nonprofit organization garner additional grant funding as it moves into its sixth decade of operation—and, eventually, find a new home.
“A museum is so much more than a place with paintings hanging on a wall,” Executive Director Christine Davis-Jeffers said during a speech at the museum Wednesday.
As a free “noncollecting” museum, Davis-Jeffers said, the focus can be on providing “coherent exhibitions” from diverse sources rather than amassing and storing objects.
The nonprofit acquired museum accreditation in 2006 from the American Alliance of Museums as the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, a professional designation of best practices held by fewer than 5 percent of museums in the United States, five of which are in Idaho.
“The accreditation is primarily about how able we are to receive and handle art,” Davis-Jeffers said in an interview.
The newly minted Sun Valley Museum of Art recently acquired two grants that could not have been received without museum status, Davis-Jeffers said.
The two modest programming grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and from the Ford Family Foundation are examples of targeted grants that the name change could facilitate.
“With the name change we feel more confident in applying for these grants,” Davis-Jeffers said.
“Everyone knows we need a new facility and the Liberty Theatre needs an upgrade,” Davis-Jeffers said during her speech.
For decades the nonprofit has been at 191 Fifth St. E. in Ketchum.
A $17 million capital campaign to raise funds for a new building west of the Ketchum post office was ended in 2006 at the start of the recession.
Davis-Jeffers said a portion of $5 million raised during the campaign was used to buy land at the proposed site. She said the property sold in the fall of 2019 and that proceeds from the sale have contributed to a dedicated fund for a new building elsewhere.
Sun Valley Museum of Art Artistic Director Kristin Poole said the organization is “actively looking” for a new location.
“By June we will have a facilities plan in place,” Davis-Jeffers said.