The new millennium year saw continued impressive growth by the Las Vegas Art Museum in all major areas: exhibition, attendance, membership, education, finances, and so on.

The major highlight of the year has to be the formal affiliation between the Las Vegas Art Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. In achieving this distinction, the Las Vegas Art Museum becomes one of the very few fine arts institutions in the United States to hold the Smithsonian Affiliate designation. The obvious benefits to the Museum are access to the long-term loan of Smithsonian art, joint membership programs, access to the educational resources of the Smithsonian, and an enormous enhancement of the Museum's reputation and community awareness.

LVAM continued to provide the community with a strong schedule of fine arts exhibitions, which included a major exhibition by Salvador Dali's work. The popularity of this show is best reflected by the new attendance records set during it, doubling the previous record set by the Chagall exhibition in 1999. In addition, a membership drive coincided with the Dali exhibition, enabling the Las Vegas Art Museum to more than triple its membership rolls in 2000. Although the Dali exhibition set many new marks in revenue, attendance, new membership, and press coverage, LVAM also was proud to host its first two truly international exhibitions of contemporary art: Asian Art Now: 2000 and Art Beyond Borders, sponsored by UNESCO.

Increasing community awareness of the Museum and its activities is a key objective. Press coverage throughout the year was at a better and consistently high level of exposure. In addition, the expanded ARTBEAT newsletter in 2000 included important guest columns, and is contributing to increasing awareness of the Museum activities and its intellectual distinction.

LVAM remains committed to the premise that education is a cornerstone to the mission of the Las Vegas Art Museum. In this regard, LVAM's oldest and most established educational outreach program, the Suitcase Gallery, thrived in 2000, and it is being upgraded, with bookings consistently in strong demand. In addition, docent activity receives rave reviews and its an important element of LVAM's art education program. The Museum had its most successful program ever with the Clark County School District during the Art Beyond Borders exhibition. Busloads of students were brought to be exposed to art during this show, and LVAM will build upon this experience in the future.

Board of Directors continues to be a major strength for the Las Vegas Art Museum. Their financial generosity and tireless activities have helped make all its past successes possible and assures a successful future with its increased financial demands.

On a final note, the Board of Directors has hired a new Executive Director who assumes office in March 2001. After a thorough executive search and interview process, the Board feels assured that this step will solidify the professional experience necessary to guide LVAM properly in the next important phase of its growth, development, and service to the community.


-Gerald L. Ehrens,

President, Board of Directors LVAM