Dixon master plan 2017

Page 1

Master Plan

Dixon Gallery and Gardens February 2014



CONTENTS Introduction………………………………………………………………….3 Executive Summary…………………………………………………………7 Phase 1


Phase 2


Phase 3

2016 & 2017……………………………………………………22

Phase 4


Phase 5

2016 - 2022………………………………………...…………...30

Phase 6





This comprehensive Master Plan narrative has been conceived and written with the participation and input of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens board of trustees and staff, Dixon members and donors, community partners, vendors, neighbors, and with the assistance of the team at Haizlip Studio, our consultant. It represents clearly articulated goals for the improvement, repurposing, and expansion of our facilities and grounds, to be executed in phases over a period of five to seven years. All of the proposals that fall within the framework of this Master Plan are intended to advance the organization’s mission and goals. This Master Plan should be used as a common reference work to be regularly consulted by the board and the staff as we measure our progress towards building a better Dixon.

INTRODUCTION The Opportunities and the Need Over the last seven years, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens has significantly expanded its programming, audience, staff, budget, membership, donor base, and earned income. However, the square footage of the Dixon’s facilities and the acreage of its gardens has remained the same as they were in 2007 (and well before then). In effect, the institution has largely reached capacity in its ability to produce programs and generate audience for lack of space. There is no mandate by the Dixon Board of Trustees to further grow the facilities or to expand the grounds. But the board has urged the staff to consider the Dixon’s facilities and gardens as yet other resources for expanding the programs, services, and audience, and to identify where the opportunities and the critical needs reside. To achieve these goals comprehensively and inclusively, it was determined that a Master Plan for the facilities and grounds was essential, and that we would need professional expertise to facilitate the process.

The Search for a Consultant At the Dixon’s March 2013 Board of Trustees meeting, the board formed a Master Plan Selection Committee and charged it with identifying candidates among local, national, and international architecture and planning firms to help facilitate the development of a Master Plan for the facilities and grounds. The committee consisted of the current Chairman of the Dixon board, the President, the Immediate Past Chairman, and the Chair of the Operations Committee, and among the staff, the Controller, the Director of Horticulture, and the Director.


After vetting dozens of possible firms who might facilitate a Dixon Master Plan, five were chosen to interview before the Selection Committee. The interviews took place in June. By July, the Selection Committee had unanimously agreed that Haizlip Studio in Memphis was the best choice, and the firm was offered the opportunity. The Dixon staff negotiated the terms of a contract with principle, Reb Haizlip, and by early August, he had already begun to conduct interviews.

The Discovery Process Over the course of many conversations between Reb Haizlip and Dixon staff, trustees, donors, members, stakeholders, community partners, vendors, and neighbors, a broad range of ideas were put forward for how the facilities and grounds could better serve the Dixon mission. But in addition to practical (and sometimes impractical) suggestions for the growth, improvement, and repurposing of the Dixon facilities and grounds, many of those who commented also shared sentiments and perspectives that were less programmatic than value laden. The institutional values some individuals put forth originated in concerns about the physical changes that might occur on site in the wake of Master Planning. But it was equally clear that the same values would remain relevant and real regardless of whether any physical changes occurred at the Dixon. The narrative that follows is an attempt to catalogue the actionable ideas that came out of the many Master Planning discussions, to develop a sense of their cost, their timeline for completion, and the outcomes they will deliver. Of course, those actionable ideas will also require framing within a prioritized order. That order is here based on circumstances both intrinsic and external, on exigencies the institution is facing or will face, and on the “institutional values” alluded to above and outlined below.

Institutional Values The Dixon Master Plan will seek consensus opinions and broad perspectives on what the institution could and should become and what it stands for. This last statement may well describe the first principle of the Dixon moving forward. Other shared values, consistently reiterated (and on some level, open to interpretation), are listed below:            

Insist upon excellence in all we do Seek greater diversity in staff, audience, membership, volunteers, and board Preserve the best of the Dixon, even in the face of change Serve the widest possible segment of the community Continue to embrace the immediate neighborhood and the possibilities it presents Keep growing audience, membership, donor base, and earned income. Remain committed to learning programs Remain committed to families Remain committed to scholarship Continue to create institutional partnerships in Memphis Continue to create institutional partnerships around the world Remain committed to a sustainable financial model 4

   

Remain a workplace that attracts talented people Grow the collections, keep them safe; adhere to best practices for their care Invest in staff; help them grow and achieve their professional goals Be a forward thinking institution; invest in technology

Putting Ideas into Action The many conversations that Reb Haizlip facilitated during the summer and fall of 2013 induced a great number of ideas for improving the Dixon facilities and grounds. It was generally accepted that the facilities and grounds are resources, not unlike the staff, our endowments, our collections, and the Dixon support base. But it was also largely agreed that significant improvements, expansions, and/or repurposing were necessary if the facilities and grounds are to better contribute to the success of our programming, audience development, and other large institutional goals. The six-phase plan that follows represents the best ideas that were put forward for improving, expanding, and/or repurposing the facilities and grounds of the Dixon. Each phase starts with a broad introduction of the project to be undertaken and a timeline for its completion. There follows a narrative that analyzes the existing condition of the facility or grounds area in question. That analysis is followed by the action steps necessary to bring the improvement, expansion, and/or repurposing to resolution; the staff and other resources required to complete the project; the expected budget of the project, and where that funding would be found; the impact on the institution during construction or modification (i.e.: changes in access; altered circulation patterns; limited parking; closure); once the project is completed, the impact on staffing and budgeting going forward; and the various positive outcomes the completed improvements are expected to produce for the institution.

Purposes of the Plan This plan is meant:  To present clear statements of the Vision, Mission, and Values of the Dixon, and how the buildings and grounds contribute to and support these elements.  To provide an overview of the Dixon’s operation as it stands in 2014, especially as it relates to the facilities and grounds.  To provide direction for improving the Dixon buildings and grounds over the next five to seven years through a set of clearly articulated goals.  To consider the rationale behind each of the goals and to describe the specific actions necessary to achieve it.  To provide a document for staff, board members, agents of funding, and other organizations to understand the Dixon’s accomplishments, challenges, and future plans.  To describe the means by which this Master Plan of the Dixon’s buildings and grounds will be implemented and evaluated.


Utilization of the Plan  The Master Plan Selection Committee will remain intact even after the plan has been ratified by the full board. Every June, starting in 2015, the committee will meet to review and evaluate progress toward the plan’s overall objectives, and will make a full report to the Dixon Board of Trustees at the September meeting.  At their fall meetings, relevant board committees (Visual Arts, Education, Gardens, Development, Operations, etc.) and staff liaisons will assess the outcome of the Master Plan’s initiatives for the previous year and review the initiatives for the year to come. Each committee will report its findings to the full Dixon Board of Trustees at the December meeting.  These committees and staff counterparts will also assume responsibility for assuring that the necessary funding is either integrated into the budget, into the Capital Improvement fund, or through some other model.  The Master Plan benchmarks and ten-year financial projections will be reviewed and updated every December by the Finance Committee of the board.  The goals embedded in the Master Plan will be the basis for discussion of strategic issues at each board meeting.



Dixon Gallery and Gardens Operations In 1958, Hugo Norton Dixon established The Hugo Dixon Trust, a charitable and educational foundation. Upon his death and the death of his wife, Margaret Oates Dixon, the Trust would receive their residence on Park Avenue in Memphis, the seventeen-acre property, their art collection, and any other objects constituting their estate. Mrs. Dixon died in February 1974 and Mr. Dixon passed away several months later in November 1974. The five Trust committee members amended the trust agreement to establish The Hugo Dixon Foundation and to designate the residence and the property as The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The Dixon was chartered as a not-for-profit corporation by the State of Tennessee on May 6, 1975. Under the provisions of Hugo Dixon’s will, its purpose was to construct, operate, and maintain an art museum for the exhibition and display of paintings and other works of art for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of the public. The incorporating board members adopted the by-laws of the organization on June 3, 1975. The Dixon was designated a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service on August 20, 1975. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens opened to the public in 1976 with a permanent collection of twenty-six paintings and works on paper bequeathed by Mr. and Mrs. Dixon, and seventeen acres of gardens and woodlands. Conceived as a collecting institution, the Dixon has steadily added to its fine and decorative arts holdings through purchases, gifts and bequests.     

  

In 1985, Warda Stevens Stout bequeathed to the Dixon her outstanding collection of eighteenth-century German porcelain, numbering 600 objects. In 1987, the Dixon received a gift from Dr. Armand Hammer and The Armand Hammer Foundation of 100 lithographs by Honoré Daumier. Dr. Justin H. Adler and his wife, Herta Adler donated their 400-piece collection of utilitarian, decorative and commemorative pewter to the Dixon in 1991. It is currently installed in the auditorium. The 1993 acquisition of fifty-seven works by Jean-Louis Forain made the Dixon a repository and resource for Forain’s work. In 1996, the museum acquired by purchase and gift twenty-two Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings from the Montgomery Ritchie family. This acquisition dramatically enhanced the permanent collection, which is now one of the leading collections of French modern art in the Southeast. In 1999, the Dixon received a Toulouse-Lautrec painting from the Sara Lee Corporation as part of their Millennium Gift to museums across the country. In 2008, Charlotte Hooker, the daughter of Warda Stevens Stout, donated her collection of 400 pieces of eighteenth-century English porcelain to the Dixon. The Dixon made its first major purchase of a work of art in nearly fifteen years when it bought Jacques-Emile Blanche’s Portrait of Eugenia Errazuriz (1890) in memory of former Dixon director, John Buchanan. 7

Today, the Dixon’s fine arts collection consists of more than 470 French and American paintings, sculptures, and works of graphic art from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Our decorative arts holdings of porcelain, pewter, ironware, furnishings, and other objects number nearly 2000 objects. A growing proportion of the Dixon’s seventeen acres are given over each year to cultivated garden displays, most notably, the creation of the Memphis Garden Club Cutting Garden in 1999 and the Woodland Garden in 2008. Each year the Dixon’s inventory of living collections grows. The Dixon creates meaningful educational opportunities in the arts and horticulture through classes, lectures, gallery and garden walks, workshops, signage, outreach, through media technology, and our website. Publications and programs are generally age specific and offered both on and off site. Staff, volunteers, and local, regional, national, and international experts frequently present public lectures relevant to the collections, exhibitions, or gardens. In 2000, the Dixon launched its mobile outreach program, ArtTo-Grow. The colorful van goes to elementary classrooms, after school programs, and libraries with hands-on units of study that focus on art and horticulture. The Dixon maintains an active docent program, and in 2007, we began offering art classes at our adopted school, Willow Oaks Elementary. The Hugo Dixon Foundation has a separate board of no fewer than five and no more than nine “members”, and has responsibility for the oversight of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens operation, including forming its board of trustees. The Hugo Dixon Foundation also manages the investment of the financial resources left by Mr. Dixon in his estate. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment Fund was established in 1991, a separate 501(c)(3) organization founded to support and benefit the Dixon. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment acts as a receptacle for major gifts, bequests, and contributions specifically designated for it. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment is governed by a separate board, which oversees the way endowment resources are invested and how funds are allocated for acquisitions, capital improvements, and special projects. Governed by no more than thirty elected members of the Board of Trustees, three NonResident Trustees, six Ex-officio trustees and staffed by forty full time and three parttime employees, the Dixon is a museum and public garden of national stature that serves diverse populations in the Memphis area, maintains good working relationships with other museums and gardens, and works closely with local groups to promote the arts and horticulture at the highest levels. Fiscally sound, the Dixon obtains operating revenue through five major sources: The Hugo Dixon Foundation, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment, fundraising, memberships, and earned income. In 2013, the Hugo Dixon Foundation and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment Fund provided approximately 34% of our annual operating budget (through budget growth, down from 60% in 2007). The other 66% 8

comes from fundraising, membership contributions, and earned income. On the expense side in 2013, approximately 55% of our annual operating budget went to salaries and benefits, 15% to exhibitions and programs, 9% to insuring the facility and collection and to technology, equipment, and supplies, 5% to utilities and telephone expenses, 5% to security, and the remaining 12% went to gardens maintenance, marketing, building maintenance, membership cultivation, and our fundraising effort. The Dixon was first accredited by the American Association (now Alliance) of Museums (AAM) in 1978, and has remained AAM accredited ever since. It was most recently reaccredited in 2009. Since 1976, the Dixon has had six Directors, each of whom has contributed to the success of the institution and furthered its reputation on regional, national, and international levels. Through a fundraising campaign conducted between 2011 and 2013, the Dixon endowed the directorship in honor of Linda W. and S. Herbert Rhea. The Dixon has earned its outstanding reputation through excellent collections, quality education programs, stimulating exhibitions, its strength as a horticultural resource, and through a commitment to excellence. Although it is a public facility created for the enjoyment of people from all walks of life, the Dixon has remained privately funded.

History of the Dixon Facilities and Grounds On January 25, 1976, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens opened to the public in the original 1941 Georgian-style residence designed by Houston, Texas architect John Staub, and showcasing the gardens designed by Hugo Dixon with the advice of his sister Hope Crutchfield. The first floor of the Dixon Residence is gallery space (1,585 sq. ft.), most frequently used for the display of the permanent collection of paintings and works on paper. The second floor provides offices for Dixon staff. Additional offices and the Leatherman workroom (4,370 sq. ft.) were added to the west side of the Residence in 1987, bringing the total area of the Residence to 5,960 sq. ft. The Residence was lightly renovated in 1992, with a new climate-controlled heating and air conditioning systems, new lighting, and the installation of security and fire alarm systems. In 1977, eight new galleries were constructed on the east side of the Dixon Residence (5,140 sq. ft.: Willmott, Brinkley, Phillips, Orgill, Wetter, Crump, Norfleet, and Stout). New greenhouses were added to the garden complex in 1978 and 1982. In 1986, a second expansion of the museum (15,030 sq. ft.) was opened, providing additional gallery space (Dunavant, Plough, Mallory, and Wurtzburger), an entry foyer, two climate controlled and access limited art storage facilities (522 sq. ft. downstairs and 729 sq. ft. upstairs), a museum shop (430 sq. ft.), a catering kitchen, shipping and receiving areas, and a 250-seat auditorium (2604 sq. ft.).


With the completion of the second museum expansion and the addition to the west side of the Dixon Residence, the entire museum complex reached 28,630 sq. ft. While the Dixon fine art display spaces are flexible, there is generally about 6148 sq. ft. for the presentation of the permanent collection, and 6410 sq. ft. for temporary exhibitions. A major renovation of the Memphis Garden Club Cutting Gardens, admissions area, and the garden complex was completed in 1999, including the Canale Conservatory. The Dixon constructed Hughes Pavilion in 2003, a 1760 square foot facility in the southwest section of the property that is used for meetings, programs, special events, and is the institution’s primary rental facility. A terrace (1800 sq. ft.), which can be tented for special events, just off of Hughes Pavilion was completed in 2008. Between 2008 and 2013, the Dixon completed a significant renovation of the Woodland Garden, made major improvements at the corner of Park Avenue and Cherry Road, and improved the north border of the Memphis Garden Club Cutting Garden, adding a low brick serpentine wall with perennial gardens on either side. In 2013, the Dixon undertook a major renovation and reinstallation of the Stout Gallery.

Security Manned security at the Dixon is made up of a four-person guard team linked with twoway radios. A panic alarm is rotated between the guards. The guards are contracted from Phelps Security and are not Dixon staff members. An electronic alarm system, utilizing PIR motion detectors, vibration detectors, contact switches, and sound switches, is monitored on a twenty-four hour basis by Interface Security. Recording, video surveillance cameras were installed throughout the museum by CCTV Security in February 2009 at every point of entry and egress. These cameras are not continuously monitored. The museum utilizes a UL/FM approved electronic fire alarm system, consisting of smoke/heat detectors and fire pull stations throughout the residence and museum building. ABC fire extinguishers are located throughout the facility with an automatic fire suppression system in the Canale Kitchen and in a workshop adjacent to shipping and receiving. There is no fire suppression system anywhere else in the facility. There are 10 exit doors in the Dixon residence and museum. There are two doors on the loading dock, including an overhead door. There are two emergency exits, one off the stairwell to the projection room, the other in the stairwell leading from the offices to Leatherman. There are five limited access doors, one in the auditorium, two in the residence, one to the business office, and one on the south side of the museum building. There is one set of double doors at Catmur Foyer, which is the primary entrance to the museum. Every door is electronically alarmed. Every door is opened with a metal key. Only a limited number of staff members have keys to these doors. 10

There are 52 window units in the residence and the museum. Of these 52 windows, 17 are false windows that offer no opportunity for entry. Thirty of the windows are in the original residence and date to 1941. All windows in the Dixon residence and museum are permanently sealed and alarmed. The grounds are surrounded on the North and East side by a six-foot iron fence. The main entrance is secured by two iron gates with chains and locks. Several walkout gates are incorporated in the iron fence. A white post and rail fence runs along the south side of the property and a combination of welded wire fencing and wood privacy fences complete the west side boundary. Addendum For more information about the Dixon Gallery and Gardens operation, endowments, and collections, please consult the updated Long Range Plan, 2012-2015.


DIXON GALLERY AND GARDENS MASTER PLAN DIXON MASTER PLAN Phase 1 West Edge Project  Western Border Fence  Maintenance Area  Plant Nursery Area  Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot  Securing the Plant Nursery Area Start August 2013—Complete January 2014

Analysis The entire west edge of the Dixon property, a strip approximately one hundred feet wide and running the full depth of the property, is one of the poorest functioning (despite being given over fully to utilitarian purposes) parts of the grounds, and has been for years. Our western border with the neighbors on Audubon Drive is defined by an irregular series of wooden posts and rusted wire fences, untended trees and underbrush clearly visible from the Upper Parking Lot, where most visitors start their experience of the Dixon. Following the western border southward from the Upper Parking Lot, the Maintenance Area is an undistinguished utility building surrounded by poorly stored irrigation materials, decomposing organic matter, and randomly scattered tools and equipment. Behind the Maintenance Area, an equally uninspiring Plant Nursery Area is serviced by collapsing wooden bins for mulch, sand, gravel, and other necessary materials and two tiny greenhouse huts, inadequate to produce the plants the Dixon needs. Below the Plant Nursery Area, the Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot is lined on one side by the same collapsing wooden bins that face the Plant Nursery Area and large piles of decaying leaves and wood on another (for lack of a better place to put them). The need to address this unappealing and underproductive strip of Dixon is nothing less than urgent. The generally good relationship the Dixon has with our neighbors on Audubon Drive is a thing we value highly. The border we share along the west edge of our property will never be the best face of the gardens, but there is no reason our neighbors should be forced to look at it every day. The Maintenance Area is a necessary part of the Dixon. While it is less than attractive, there are actions we can take to diminish its visibility, limit its access (protecting the safety of our visitors and reducing the number of plants that disappear on a regular basis), and improve its utility.


The Dixon Plant Nursery Area has needed attention for years. But with the completion of the adjacent Woodland Garden bringing more visitors to the western part of the grounds, and with the increased use of Hughes Pavilion (for events and facility rentals) sending more traffic along the perimeter road, the shabby appearance of the Plant Nursery Area finally has to be addressed. Moreover, without adequate greenhouse space in the Plant Nursery Area, we do not produce enough plants for the grounds or for our annual plant sale. Additionally, the lack of greenhouse space in the Plant Nursery Area means that the Canale Conservatory is consigned each winter to the storage of our tropical collections, making it unavailable for programming. At the southwest corner of the Dixon grounds, Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot is functional (for the time being), but negatively influenced by the shabbiness of the Plant Nursery Area and by the lack of proper composting stations for the leaves and limbs we collect over the entirety of our seventeen acres. Hughes Pavilion has become one of the premier rental facilities in the city, and its parking needs to better reflect that fact.

Action Steps  Clean out the existing fencerow, remove the posts and wire debris, and replace it with 650 running feet of eight-foot high cedar privacy fence.  Reorganize the Maintenance Area; build lean-to storage on the west side of the Maintenance Building; build a staff-only gravel road that connects the Maintenance Area to the Plant Nursery Area. Create a place for everything.  Build two polyhouses in the Plant Nursery Area, one large facility (a 3000 sq. ft. gutter-connecting, over-wintering house) for producing woodland and suntolerant plants, the other smaller (800 sq. ft. tropical house) for cultivating and storing tropical plants.  Build 1080 square feet of masonry block bins for leaf composting along the west side of Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot, four bins in all, capable of storing 320 cubic yards of compost. Each bin will be faced with a wooden gate. Replace the deteriorating wooden gates on the existing wooden bins along the south side of the Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot. Erect a wooden gate that connects the masonry bins on the west side to the wooden bins on the south, concealing the area behind the tropical greenhouse and disguising the entire work materials storage and composting areas from the Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot.  Secure the Maintenance Building and Plant Nursery Area with a wrought iron fence along their east sides, following the Perimeter Road.

Staffing and Other Resources To complete the West Edge Project on time, no additional staffing is necessary. Independent contractors will undertake most of the work. However, during the construction of the fences, the greenhouses, and the composting bins, one Dixon staff member—the grounds supervisor—will commit most of his time to project management and oversight. The Dixon’s director of horticulture also will be responsible for the success of the project, and other Dixon gardens staff will be called upon as needed. 13

Budget and Fundraising The overall cost of the entire West Edge Project is $135,000. For a detailed breakdown of expenses, please see the Master Plan Budget. An Assisi Foundation matching grant, and a generous contribution by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Morrow provided most of the funding for this project. However, dozens of additional donors also made contributions to its completion. Some funding for the project was provided by a contribution from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment Fund.

Impact on the Dixon during Completion of the Project The impact on the institution during the completion of the project should be fairly minimal. Given that the work is restricted to the west edge of the property and largely contained, it should produce no closure of facilities, redirection of circulation patterns, and create no particular safety concerns for visitors or staff. The transition of electrical service could impact the lighting on the Hughes Pavilion Parking Lot, but that inconvenience can be accounted for in our planning by renting temporary lamps.

Does the Completed Project Change Staffing Needs or Budgets Going Forward? The completion of the West Edge Project will create no immediate need for additional staff. It will increase the expense side of the Dixon operating budget through fuel costs to heat the greenhouses in winter. As usage of the new growing facilities intensifies, volunteers will provide all additional labor requirements, organized by our volunteer coordinator.

Outcomes In addition to transforming a substantial slice of the Dixon from a dysfunctional eyesore into an attractive and productive space, the West Edge Project brings many other benefits:  Wooden fence fosters continuing good relations with our neighbors  Wooden fence limits unwanted points of entry along our western boundary  Wrought iron fence will reduce the number of plants that disappear from the Plant Nursery Area (a growing problem)  Improvements to the Maintenance Area will reduce the risk of visitor accident  Service Road between Maintenance Area and Plant Nursery Area reduces number of staff vehicles on Perimeter Road  Greenhouses will increase plant production for the gardens, reducing costs  Greenhouses will increase plant production for the Plant Sale, generating additional revenue  Greenhouses will free up additional programming space in the Canale Conservatory


 

Composting bins will increase our production of organic matter, reducing expenses associated with buying soil amendments Securing our machinery and tools from public areas

DIXON MASTER PLAN Phase 2 Dixon Gallery Infrastructure Project  Fire Suppression throughout the Dixon galleries, Art Storage, and other public areas  Backup generator  Floors in Plough and Willmott Galleries; carpet in auditorium  Residence Roof  Replace residence windows and doors  Vapor locks on all points of public entry and egress  Redesign and renovate from the Museum Shop to the Shipping Dock  Freight elevator and lift  Redesign and renovate art storage  Gallery Lighting  Security systems; card readers  Technology; booster for cell and wifi signal  Eliminate the mold in the Stout Attic and address the cause Start May 2015—Complete November 2015

Analysis There are numerous nagging infrastructure weaknesses and overdue maintenance projects throughout the Dixon galleries, residence, offices, and back of the house that must be addressed. Collectively, these improvement projects constitute a significant undertaking that will require careful planning, flexibility, time, and money to execute. But once these projects are completed, we will have dramatically enhanced our facility and its ability to support the programs and mission of the Dixon. To tackle these improvements in the most efficient and effective manner, it will be necessary for some parts of the museum building to be closed to the public for a period of about six months. The entirety of the museum building may need to be closed to the public and staff for a portion of that sixmonth period. The gardens will remain open. Fire Suppression. The Dixon galleries, residence, auditorium, art storage areas, education spaces, offices, and other non-public areas currently have no fire suppression system to protect them. There is a fire suppression system in the Canale Kitchen, and there are fire extinguishers and smoke alarms throughout the facilities. But the absence of an automated fire suppression system not only puts our collections, visitors, and staff at risk, it will eventually become an obstacle to borrowing works of art from other 15

museums, qualifying for major shows, and in general, conducting the business of the museum. We have already been denied loans of works of art from other institutions because of the lack of fire suppression, and the problem will only become more common and pervasive. Each time we ask a museum to waive its policies and requirements concerning fire suppression (and we have done so successfully any number of times), we implicitly mark the Dixon as an inferior facility. We may have already lost out on opportunities with other institutions because of this weakness in our physical plant. Backup Generator. The same arguments about fire suppression systems can be made for installing a backup generator. With our valuable collection of works on paper extremely vulnerable to changes in temperature and humidity, the shutdown of our HVAC system for even a relatively brief period of time could have catastrophic results. As with fire suppression, we also have been denied loans in recent years because the Dixon lacks a backup power source. Gallery Floors. The floor in the Plough Gallery, our largest, is beginning to develop significant soft spots beneath the carpet. It is difficult to determine the extent or cause of the damage without removing the carpet, but the vulnerabilities are numerous and significant, causing safety hazards and liability for accidents. As a rule, carpeting is not an especially desirable floor surface in museums, given that it holds mold, mildew, dirt, and other agents potentially harmful to works of art, including some cleaning materials. The floorboards in the Willmott Gallery, our second largest, are beginning to buckle for reasons that are yet unclear. To determine the cause and extent of the problem and to repair it, we will need to remove no less than 200-300 square feet of flooring, and possibly more. It has been suggested that the buckling of the floorboards in the Willmott Gallery somehow relates to the opening of a doorway between the Brinkley and Willmott Galleries. It is possible that an inadequate moisture barrier was placed between the concrete subfloor and the wooden floorboards in Willmott, but this is just speculation at this point. All the hardware floors in the galleries need repair work (sanding and refinishing). Many of the hardwoods are unprotected and are starting to show the wear and tear from foot traffic. The carpeting in Winegardner Auditorium is soiled and worn, and due to be replaced. Residence Roof. The slate roof over the residence is more than seventy years old. Some slate roofs (Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania Peach Bottom slate, for example) may last as long as 150 or 200 years, but slate roofs are only as durable as their weakest element. When fasteners, underlayment, or flashing begin the fail, which is the situation on the residence roof, then the origin and expected durability of the slates is irrelevant. Our slates are at the end of their lifetime wear. We have lost a considerable number in the last few years, and more are slipping out of place all the time. Roofers have inspected the residence roof on more than one occasion, and they describe the slates as brittle, soft, and thin.


Gallery Roof. The gallery roof needs to be inspected to determine areas for repair. We are aware of several issues due to noticeable wood damage in our main attic and leaks that have occurred in recent months. Replacement Windows and Doors. From security, climate control, and light filtering standpoints, the windows in the Dixon residence (and possibly elsewhere) should be replaced. Nearly every window in the Dixon—whether in the residence or in the galleries—is single-paned and was designed for residential construction (in 1941; 1977; and 1985). Our existing windows leave us vulnerable to break-in (they are alarmed, but will not withstand significant impact), their thinness attracts condensation, and they lack weather resistant and light management properties. All the doors of the Dixon are equally vulnerable and also in need of updating. There are no vapor locks on any of the doors at the Dixon, causing undesirable temperature and humidity swings in the galleries, and placing undue stress on our climate controls and HVAC systems. Museum Shop. The Museum Shop is neither profitable nor does it reinforce the Dixon mission or brand. The shop is unprofitable because it is too small to hold enough inventory to offset staffing costs. Furthermore, the shop’s limited size has forced us to handle small items of significant value, such as jewelry, which only in rare instances speaks to mission or brand. Shipping and Receiving. The Dixon faces numerous space challenges in its back of the house. Our shipping and receiving area, storage areas, restroom facilities, catering kitchen, and corridors need either updating or to be completely redesigned and renovated. At the very least, this relatively large area should be reconceived to allow for better flow of goods and artworks into and out of the building, more efficient work areas, better storage for the curatorial staff, better control of access for caterers and other vendors, more pleasant break areas for security guards, and a more effective catering kitchen. Freight Elevator. While we update Shipping and Receiving, it is essential that we construct a freight elevator in this area. Staff currently transports the Dixon’s permanent collection from one floor to another on an aging piece of hydraulic construction equipment, which poses risk to works of art and staff. We also need a much simpler but no less essential lift to transport objects from the second floor storage area to the attic storage area. Art Storage. The Dixon’s two art storage areas are primitive and detrimental to the safety of the works we are meant to secure. Art Storage 1, on the ground floor, consists of cheap painting racks that produce considerable vibration every time they are moved. Art Storage 1 was probably conceived as a temporary holding space for borrowed works of art during the installation of exhibitions. However, we tend to leave our own paintings and works on paper on these racks more or less long term for lack of any other place to put them. Art Storage 1 is only thirty feet from a roll up door in shipping and receiving. That door opens to the elements and inevitably makes Art Storage 1 vulnerable from a climate standpoint.


Art Storage 2. Art Storage 2, on the second floor, was intended to be the more long term of the two storage spaces. But if anything, it is the more dangerous holding space for works of art than the cheap painting racks in Art Storage 1. First, the painting bins in Art Storage 2 are made of acidic plywood that is non-archival and highly abrasive to frames. The bins themselves are ill fitting, awkward to utilize, and not especially efficient in their use of space. Secondly, Art Storage 2 shares a wall with two of our largest HVAC units, which run steadily, sending nearly constant vibrations into this art holding area. And finally, every work of art, no matter how valuable, travels to the second floor on the construction lift described above. Lighting. In general, the lighting of the collection and exhibitions in the Dixon galleries is dated, inflexible, and expensive. The only energy-efficient lighting in the Dixon is in the recently renovated Stout Gallery, which has LED lighting. Security. The current system for security (Fire and Police) is manned by Interface Security but is out of date and leaves several areas of concern. The system consists of motion detectors, glass breakage, door monitors and smoke detection. During operational hours we are staffed with security officers but we depend on the security system and fast response times from our security companies for after hour alarms. The addition of cameras has provided us with after hour video security but many of the cameras are insufficient in dark rooms. Security Recommendations:  Designated Security monitoring center with centralized security operations  Updated security system  Card systems for doors, especially those not manned by staff  Security vehicle  24 hour security Personnel (Dixon Staff Member)  Location for designated check in for vendors  Improved and additional cameras throughout the property Technology. At present, the only technology in the Dixon galleries and residence is electricity and track lighting. Stout Attic. Due to poor design and construction decisions back in 1986, the attic above the Stout Gallery has developed moisture issues that are causing continuous environmental issues. According to a recent study by Mold Stoppers, this area has high levels of contamination that should be sanitized but are not yet at toxic levels. Ventilation and insulation issues must be addressed along with the toxin issue to insure the future health of the building. Painting. After construction projects are completed, we plan to take advantage of the down time to paint several areas that will need repair and beautification.


Action Steps  Retrofit a dry pipe fire suppression system throughout the Dixon galleries, residence, auditorium, and art storage areas.  Install a backup generator capable of driving our HVAC system throughout the museum.  Remove the carpeting in the Plough Gallery, repair the underlayment flooring, and install hardwood flooring consistent with the rest of the museum. Pull up the wooden flooring in the Willmott Gallery, determine the cause of the “buckling” of the floorboards, and replace the flooring as needed. Replace the carpeting in the Winegardner Auditorium and Wurtzburger Gallery. Repair and clean all flooring surfaces in the gallery.  Replace the slate roof over the residence. Repair roof as needed over the main galleries.  Replace the single-pane windows in the residence (upstairs and downstairs) with museum quality, UV-filtered, bulletproof double-pane windows. Replace the doors at every point of entry, whether in the residence or the museum facilities, with steel doors (some may have UV filtered, bulletproof, double-pane glass) that have magnetic locks (some interior doors should have similar controls, such as those leading to art storage, from public areas to the back of the house, from the business office to Leatherman Workroom, and between the residence and business office). Create a vapor lock outside of the main entrance to the museum and the back door of the residence.  To the existing Museum Shop, remove walls to add the small adjacent storage area, the shop manager’s office, and the Menke Lounge.  Reconsider the space comprised of Coat rack Corridor, Security Break Room Corridor, Small restroom, Closet, Canale Kitchen, Chair Storage, Workroom, Shipping and Receiving, and Art Storage 1. Make it better organized, more useful, efficient, and pleasant.  Install a freight elevator in Shipping and Receiving.  Eliminate Art Storage 1 as an art storage area. Remove painting racks. Use solely as crate storage.  Consider moving Art Storage 2 to attic storage area. Make it large enough to accommodate the collection. Use state of the art painting racks and storage cabinets.  Install LED lighting throughout the galleries and residence.  Implement security recommendations.  Hardwire all Dixon facilities with adequate Internet connections. Add broadband, wifi, and cell phone signal boosters to the museum. Create Ipad label stations in the residence.

Staffing and Other Resources It will probably not be necessary to add additional staff to undertake these many projects, given that we will hire architects, contractors, subcontractors, and project managers to oversee them. However, Director of Operations Juliana Bjorklund, Controller Gail 19

Hopper, and Director Kevin Sharp will be largely focused on these projects during their duration, more or less to the exclusion of some other duties. The Dixon’s permanent collection exhibition (Monet to Matisse) will be “rented” to another museum during the Dixon Gallery Infrastructure Project (a tentative agreement has already been made with the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute in Utica, NY). The Curatorial staff, led by Julie Pierotti, and especially Registrars Neil O’Brien and Kristen Kimberling, will assume responsibility for the travelling collections, and those that are placed in off-site storage.

Budget and Fundraising The overall cost of the Dixon Gallery Infrastructure Project is yet to be determined. Much of the funding of these projects will almost certainly come from our Dixon Gallery and Gardens Endowment Fund. There is very little in these improvement projects that can be described as desirable fundraising opportunities, although efforts will be made to find financial support for these projects.

Impact on the Dixon during Completion of the Project The impact on the institution during the completion of the project will be considerable. We will have to contend with the displacement or repurposing of some staff members during certain phases of the project and with the removal of all collections from the premises.  The majority of the Gallery Staff will need to take vacations, accept paid leaves of absence, or we must find them work quarters elsewhere during the replacement of the roof and during the replacement of windows and doors.  During construction, some Gallery Staff will be asked to temporarily turn their focus to other aspects of the Dixon project, including education outreach, a possible satellite shop, fundraising initiatives, satellite exhibitions, membership recruitment, and the gardens.  To prepare for the retrofitting of the fire suppression system in the galleries, residence, art storage, and auditorium, any renovation to the shop and Art Storage 2 on the attic level, and the construction of a freight elevator in Shipping and Receiving and a lift from the second floor to the attic level, it will be necessary to remove all works of art from the site, including porcelain and pewter. They will either need to be sent away as an exhibition or placed in secure fine art storage. It will probably be desirable for all long-term loans to return to their owners in 2014.

Does the Completed Project Change Staffing Needs or Budgets Going Forward? The completion of the Dixon Gallery Infrastructure Project will create no immediate need for additional staff nor will it increase the expense side of the budget. Indeed, the window and door installations, the addition of vapor locks, and the conversion to LED lighting should reduce our operating costs. Improved security systems and incorporating 20

fire suppression should reduce our insurance costs. Expanding the size of the Museum Shop will create a stronger revenue stream for the Dixon.

Outcomes If the Dixon Gallery Infrastructure Project is undertaken and completed in its entirety, it would vastly improve the institution’s ability to execute its mission, serve its audience, and keep our visitors and staff safe.  Fire Suppression and a Backup Generator put the appropriate emphasis on the safety of our visitors, staff and collections. The completion of these two projects would also increase the likelihood of working with larger museums and bringing more ambitious projects to the Dixon.  The work on our floors, windows and doors are more than cosmetic. They affect the safety of our collections and visitors, and they protect the integrity of our climate control. Improved doors and windows should produce cost savings in our utility bills and decrease stress on our HVAC systems.  LED lighting not only saves money (ultimately paying for itself), but it is leading edge technology.  A larger and better Museum Shop would become a destination in its own right, enhancing our overall audience numbers. A conceptually stronger retail presence would also reinforce the Dixon brand, produce a more significant revenue stream, and better reflect the values of the institution than it currently does.  Improvements to our Shipping and Receiving areas would allow for the better control of art works, products, and vendors moving in and out of the building, thereby keeping the museum and its assets more secure.  The relocation and redesign of Art Storage (and the construction of a proper freight elevator and lift) would eliminate the unnecessary risk Dixon collections face every time they are taken off view. The expansion and improvement of Art Storage would permit staff and visiting scholars better access to stored collections, enhancing the probability of their study and publication. Improved Art Storage would in all likelihood strengthen our efforts in collection building.  Better Security is its own reward. It makes the Dixon stronger in every aspect of its mission.  Better technology enhances the Dixon’s ability to communicate with its audiences, to create innovative programming, and to keep the programming fresh and targeted. It improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the staff— fundraising, donor relations, membership, collections management, and in virtually every other arena in which we operate. Once the auditorium and Hughes Pavilion are hard wired and connected via wifi, we will also be better at generating facility rental from businesses.


DIXON MASTER PLAN Phase 3 Dixon Gardens and Grounds Infrastructure Project  Entry gates  Wayfinding and signage  Visibility from Park Avenue (Windows)  Service Road to Lower Parking Lot  Access to Garrott Court  Perimeter Road  Service Road to South Lawn  Exit Gate onto Cherry Road  Parking Lots  Lighting and electrical throughout the grounds  Irrigation  Drainage; water management  South Lawn  Universal accessibility—pathways and sidewalks  Southern border fence To be undertaken in phases, 2016 and 2017

Analysis It is clear that a holistic approach to infrastructure has never been done at the Dixon. Access, navigation, and visitor use of the Dixon grounds could be greatly enhanced through a number of very manageable improvement projects. The grounds themselves could be better utilized for programs, events, and expanded hours with some basic infrastructure improvements. Better irrigation, drainage, lighting and electrical systems would produce numerous efficiencies in the care of the gardens and in the management of special events and facility use on the property. Entry, Signage, and Wayfinding. Upon entering the Dixon property by automobile, first time visitors are instantly confronted with directional choices that are not only confounding, but almost intentionally so. The Dixon presents too many options at the point of entry, and we complicate the matter with directional signage that is undersized, poorly placed, and easy to ignore. Wayfinding remains a matter of chance for most new visitors. The cloistered quality of the Dixon is part of its charm, but it can also seem impenetrable to those who do not understand that we are a public institution. Service Road and Garrott Court. The road that leads to the Lower Parking Lot is too narrow to accommodate two cars passing one another in and out. There is nowhere for buses to drop off tour groups or students without blocking the road and the valet parking for special events causes similar congestion. The current access to Garrott Court is confusing to most new visitors. It is the widest and most visible point of entry, the 22

museum building is in clear view, and it would seem like the logical place to park. However, that is not the case. Perimeter Road and Service Road. The Perimeter Road surrounding the Dixon grounds is a crucial thoroughfare for accessing and maintaining the property. Currently, the entire Perimeter Road is in a very poor state of repair. As critical to the utility of the property as it is, there are places (along the west side of the loop, for example) where the road is more public thoroughfare than service access. Yet because of poor signage, the relatively narrow width of the road, and the maintenance areas passed along the way, visitors to Hughes Pavilion (in particular) are not always certain they are on the right path. The Service Road from the Perimeter Road to the South Lawn structurally improved to allow increased usage resulting from a greater number of events, but there is no question that it could be vastly improved. Exit Gate onto Cherry Road and Parking Lots. At the close of the Dixon’s most logistically complicated and best-attended events—Art on Tap, Art on Fire, Symphony in the Gardens, openings, etc.—exiting the property can present challenges. An exit gate from the Lower Parking Lot to Cherry Road would alleviate some of the congestion. All of the Dixon’s Parking Lots are in need of resurfacing and restriping. Lighting, Electrical, and Irrigation. The lighting on the Dixon grounds is spotty, in some places out of date, inadequate for nearly all of our evening events, non-conducive to experiencing the gardens after dark, and far from adequate from a security standpoint. Access to electricity on the grounds is also irregular. The irrigation system at the Dixon is really no system at all. It has been patched together, it is manually operated, and for sheer utility it is about one notch above a garden hose. Because of this lack of automation, we are frequently watering at the wrong time of day. Drainage and South Lawn. The Dixon property drains into a ditch that originates in the Woodland Garden, goes under Hughes Pavilion, crosses the South Lawn, and more or less feeds into a low swale at the southeast corner of the property. We could better at managing our water runoff and collecting our own water source, while at the same time creating a water feature at the Dixon. The South Lawn has increasingly become the setting for some of our most high profile events, from regular programs such as Symphony in the Gardens and Art on Fire, to special occasions such as the Forain and Bijoux galas and the centenary of Baptist Memorial Health Care. Stabilizing and redesigning the South Lawn so that the impacts from these events will be minimized in terms of staff inputs and maintenance costs. This work will eventually pay for itself, or at least stop costing us money. Universal Accessibility. It is possible for someone in a wheelchair to navigate a surprisingly large portion of the Dixon grounds. But with some re-grading and redesign of our pathways, the entire Dixon property could be accessible. South Border. The fence along the south border of the Dixon is in a state of disrepair. While this fence technically belongs to Oaksedge, it reflects poorly on us. Moreover with 23

the addition of tenants in the modern office buildings, we need to find ways to create better access for them, and better security for us.

Action Steps  Redesign the main entrance to the Dixon property, taking into consideration traffic calming and crosswalks across Park Avenue, and greater clarity in directional choices at the point of entry and to make it more pedestrian friendly. Automated gates would provide greater security.  Improve signage and wayfinding at the point of entrance and every juncture where ambiguity in directional choices persists.  Widen the service road to the Lower Parking Lot; create a space for buses to drop off students and for valet parking; design a pedestrian lane from Lower Parking Lot to entrance.  Close and remove the current gate to Garrott Court. Remove asphalt and replace with a garden; add a spur from the service road to the Lower Parking Lot that provides access to Garrott Court.  Open “windows” in the screen of trees along Park Avenue for views into the Dixon property.  Improve the Perimeter Road by repaving and widening to provide occasional areas to allow automobiles to pass one another.  Improve the Service Road leading to the South Lawn.  Open a gate onto Cherry Road from the Lower Parking Lot.  Resurface and restripe the Lower Parking Lot, Upper Parking Lot, and Hughes Pavilion Parking. Possibly expand the Hughes Pavilion Parking.  Design permanent lighting throughout the Dixon grounds, including soft experiential lighting that would enhance evening visits, “aesthetic” lighting designed by artists, and major task lighting that illuminate the Dixon for security purposes and at the end of events. Introduce electrical service throughout the property.  Design and implement a state-of-the-art efficient, automated irrigation system throughout the Dixon property.  Design better drainage systems to manage water flow across the property to include parking lot bioswales for rainwater capture. Build a catch basin on the southeast corner of the Dixon property (or preferably the northeast corner of Oaksedge) and create a stream effect through the ditch, starting in the Woodland Garden.  Stabilize and strengthen the South Lawn so it is durable enough for special events.  Redesign the steps, walkways, and pathways throughout the Dixon, making as much of the property as possible ADA compliant and accessible. But also considering where to create hard surface areas for special events and programs.  Redesign and rebuild the fence along our southern border, taking into consideration and balancing the desired access to the property by our neighbors from Wright Medical and the overall security of the Dixon.


Staffing and Other Resources While much of the work of introducing these improvements to our entry, wayfinding, signage, and infrastructure will be undertaken by contractors and subcontractors, it may be necessary to hire a project manager to serve as point person and to oversee these various projects as well as storm water consultants, lighting engineers, and irrigation specialists. The Director of Horticulture will be deeply involved and will take responsibility for the completion of the projects on time and on budget. But he will not be able to manage all the various logistical concerns and continue to perform his regular duties.

Budget and Fundraising There would certainly be naming opportunities and other fundraising vehicles through individuals and grants in any number of the projects outlined, including the redesign of the South Lawn, the pathway project, and converting the drainage ditch into a stream.

Impact on the Dixon during Completion of the Project There undoubtedly would be areas made inaccessible during the construction processes of the projects described. To determine the extent and the order in which areas become less accessible, it will be necessary to prioritize the order of these projects.

Does the Completed Project Change Staffing Needs or Budgets Going Forward? The completion of these projects in and of themselves should not change the need for staff. The introduction of greater lighting could raise our utility bills, but that would probably be offset by utilizing LED lighting and the efficiencies of better irrigation and electrical systems, and by the elimination of the need to rent lights for events.

Outcomes The implementation of these improvements to our outdoor infrastructure will improve Dixon visitors’ first impressions of the site and overall experiences, it will create long overdue cost and labor efficiencies in the gardens, and enhance our ability to create programming and events in the gardens.  Happier visitors, who intuitively know where they need to go and how to get there  A more attractive entrance  Better safer, drop-off and pick-up of school children on buses  More school groups visit the Dixon  Safer pedestrian travel from the Lower Parking Lot to Garrott Court  More attractive Garrott Court  Better access to the whole of the Dixon by staff, visitor and vendors  Less visitor confusion about getting to Hughes Pavilion  Better circulation during major events 25

     

Create a Dixon better suited to host evening events and hours Better care for the gardens Transform a ditch into a teachable water collection and filtering system that provides the added benefit of being an attractive water feature Better manage the water on the Dixon property with a back-up source to provide irrigation water Have a South Lawn able to withstand major events and facility rentals Generate more revenue and make the Dixon more secure

DIXON MASTER PLAN Phase 4 Education Spaces and a Learning Center and Hughes Pavilion Expansion and Improvement Project  Redesign and/or repurpose all existing education facilities at the Dixon (i.e.: Leatherman Workroom, the Residence, the Galleries, Winegardner Auditorium, the Potting Hub, and Canale Conservatory) so they are better learning spaces, more readily available (where applicable), technologically sound, and integrated into a cohesive overall philosophy of art and horticultural learning  Build a facility for education programs  Expand and renovate Hughes Pavilion To be undertaken in 2018

Analysis On a day-to-day basis, the Dixon staff may face no greater or more frequent challenge than finding adequate space to put on our own programs, finding room to cross-program with other cultural, horticultural, and educational organizations, and having enough available space to attract the most lucrative facility rental opportunities. Education Spaces and a Learning Center. In 2007, the Dixon Education staff consisted of two people—the Curator of Education and the Art-to-Grow outreach instructor. The Dixon had only two standing education programs at that time, one of which was the outreach project alluded to above. The Dixon education staff occasionally conducted or facilitated other programs and tours in the museum, and garden staff put on workshops and other types of programs, but they tended not to be part of a larger organizational system. There were no apparent programmatic structures, let alone philosophical underpinnings that determined why we did what we did in the name of education and what audience we thought it might serve. Today, the Dixon education team consists of a Director of Education, two full time staff members (one managing adult programs, the other overseeing children’s programs), a full time Art-to-Grow instructor, a second part time Art-to-Grow instructor, a full time gardens educator, a part time gardens educator, numerous contract educators, two 26

contract art therapists, a team of twenty-five docents, and a varying number of interns throughout the year. Moreover, others staff members in the Curatorial and Gardens departments (as well as the director’s office) routinely participate in education programs. The Dixon now hosts upward of twenty standing education programs that serve all ages and all levels of expertise in the visual arts and horticulture. We now also produce programs for individuals with disabilities, learning difficulties, or debilitating illnesses (and their caregivers), and for others who have experienced severe trauma. Recently, Glenn Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, averred that in the twentieth century museums assembled great collections, but in the twenty-first century those same institutions will become something more, “a nexus where communities can find shared experience.” His comment is certainly true of the Dixon, which has clearly responded to the shift in thinking about what the museum project means in the twenty-first century. No longer treasure boxes, museums now act as social centers, idea centers, gathering places, nurturing and healing places, and vehicles of lifelong learning. But while the Dixon’s commitment to education, learning, and outreach has been the very touchstone of our recent transition and growth as an institution—and has made the Dixon once again relevant to the community it serves—we currently have even less dedicated space for education programs than we did in 2007. Hughes Pavilion. In 2007, the Dixon generated less than $32,000 in facility rental fees, and that was a record high. Hughes Pavilion and Winegardner Auditorium were only “rented” a total of forty-four times that year (26 and 18 times respectively; for an average rate of $727 per rental). In 2013, the Dixon generated more than $125,000 in facility rental revenue and hosted 75 separate events in Hughes Pavilion alone (for an average rental price of $1666). In the ten years since Hughes Pavilion was completed (in late 2003), it has become the premier rental facility in the city, a jewel in a near-perfect setting, and we are only just learning how remunerative this aspect of our business can be. At 1760 square feet, Hughes Pavilion was never large enough to serve the Dixon as the staff and board envisioned in 2003. The addition of an 1800 square foot terrace in 2008, set up for tenting, effectively doubled the capacity of Hughes Pavilion, which helped. When the board agreed to reconsider and remove its policy against allowing weddings on the property in 2009, the volume of facility rental opportunities increased instantly and dramatically. For all its strengths and for all its beauty, Hughes Pavilion has a number of correctible problems and limitations. Even with the terrace, the facility is not large enough to generate the income the Dixon needs (not every event can be held in a tent). The approach from the Hughes Pavilion parking lot is poorly lit, somewhat confusing from the standpoint of wayfinding, and leads to an entryway that is less attractive than it might be. The canvas canopy is serviceable but worn. A more permanent structure would better serve the purpose of guiding and sheltering visitors, it would be more attractive, and it would probably be more cost efficient in the long run. The entrance on the west side of Hughes Pavilion (from Hughes parking lot) channels visitors down a narrow corridor 27

leading to the restrooms rather than creating an attractive first impression. The absence of a cloak closet is a significant weakness. To take advantage of facility rental opportunities among businesses, Hughes Pavilion needs to be hardwired and set up for wifi. The warming kitchen would better serve the Dixon if it were transformed into a catering kitchen.

Action Steps for Education Project  Expanding on the 2012 updated Strategic Plan, create a long range plan for Education at the Dixon, including goals, action steps, budgets, staffing projections, and analysis of audiences served.  Based on the findings of the Education Plan, repurpose the Leatherman Workroom so it is better suited to the needs of programming and audience.  Based on the findings of the Education Plan, build a Learning Center. Action Steps for Hughes Pavilion Project  Create a designated walkway from the Hughes Pavilion parking lot to the Hughes Pavilion  Widen the drop off space for valet parking  Transform the existing west entrance into an emergency exit  Expand Hughes Pavilion to the south by adding another 2100 square feet of meeting space, cloak closet, and restrooms  Add 500 square feet of canopy  Add 225 square feet of kitchen  Level the Picnic Lawn, building a retaining wall at its south edge (remove the sculpture)  Set up Hughes Pavilion so it is state of the art for technology

Staffing and Other Resources Education Project. To create a long range plan for determining the Dixon’s education priorities moving forward, it will be necessary to bring in a consultant to help facilitate dialogues between the Education staff and the board of trustees (particularly the Education Committee of the board), Shelby County Schools, private schools, and charter schools administrators and teachers, local university faculty, representatives from the Urban Child Institute and other advocacy groups, the Master Gardener program, various garden clubs, and other organizations and individuals. The improvements made to the Leatherman Workroom and the construction of a Learning Center will require supervision (as well as architects and contractors), but there is probably no need to add staff to oversee the completion of those projects. Hughes Pavilion Project. There should be no further staff required to see this project through, however, it will require architects and contractors, like the building of the Learning Center. 28

Budget and Fundraising Every phase of this overall project, from the improvements to the Leatherman Workroom and other facilities, to the building of the Learning Center, to the expansion of Hughes Pavilion, will require a considerable financial investment. The Leatherman Workroom and Hughes Pavilion are already named spaces, probably diminishing their attractiveness to potential funders, but attractive in the way they contribute to or support the mission of the Dixon. The Learning Center, on the other hand, is a ripe naming opportunity and should attract considerable support.

Impact on the Dixon during Completion of the Project The repurposing of Leatherman, while not a major construction project, will be a source of inconvenience to the staff and visitors who enter and leave through the Business Office entrance. Any remaining improvements to other spaces where education programs occur (i.e.: Winegardner Auditorium, galleries, the Potting Hub, etc.) should be only minimally invasive and not require the displacement of staff during those projects. Circulation on the property by gardens and maintenance staff will be significantly complicated. Depending on construction dates, some programs, fundraisers, and events may be tabled or scaled back in 2018.

Does the Completed Project Change Staffing Needs or Budgets Going Forward? This investment in the spaces we create and improve for education programs at the Dixon will require that we also invest in our education team. Depending on the outcome of the education-focused long range plan (and based on the continuing growth of our existing programs), it may be necessary to add as many as four educators to the staff by the end of 2018. With the growth of Hughes Pavilion, and the expected increase in facility rental opportunities it will produce, the Dixon will undoubtedly need to add two more staff members to manage the increase in traffic—a daytime and evening Manager on Duty. The expanded Hughes Pavilion and especially a new Learning Center would unquestionably add to the overall Dixon operating budget. There will be incremental maintenance costs to be sure, but also more significant heating and cooling expenses, technology, telephones, supplies, programming costs, and more.

Outcomes Matching the education facilities to the ambition and quality of the programs and staff will make those already formidable Dixon assets even stronger. The expansion of Hughes Pavilion will ultimately generate more revenue for the Dixon.  Dixon becomes even more responsive to its community through its education programs  Increases in education programs translate into growth in attendance, membership, and financial support 29

         

We clarify our goals for education, our sense of mission, our values, and the overarching philosophy that drives them We build even stronger partnerships with other organizations in our community We become a beacon for our neighborhood We eliminate several obstacles to cross-programming with other institutions We eliminate obstacles to expanding our facility rental business Dixon recoups the costs of expanding and improving Hughes Pavilion through growth in our facility rental business within five years Facility rental revenue triples within two years of completion of the Hughes Pavilion expansion We are able to host more of our own special events and fundraisers The number of people who come to the Dixon via our facility rental program doubles within two years of completion of the Hughes project We see considerable growth in our Membership revenue because of our facility rental program

DIXON MASTER PLAN Phase 5 Garden Building  Create new gardens around perimeter of the Dixon property  Create new gardens adjacent to Formal Gardens on the east  Create new gardens adjacent to the Formal Gardens to the south  Create new gardens in proximity to Learning Center  Leave no space in the Dixon unattended or uncultivated.  Think differently about the Dixon gardens and what they might have to say  Invent new interpretive models that animate the spaces we create  Invent new ways for visitors to participate in the experience of the Dixon grounds  Invest more in sculpture  Invest ourselves in the history of the property itself  Design and develop a new entry garden across from the new museum entry To be undertaken in phases, 2016/17/18-2022

Analysis The grounds of the Dixon are beautiful, well tended, and a comforting retreat. But then, so too are most residential gardens. There must be more than the virtues of scale and labeling to distinguish the Dixon from any other well-maintained residential property in East Memphis. We must give visitors a reason to participate in the Dixon gardens beyond the fact that something is in bloom. We have only scratched the surface and with this commitment to the Gardens, we can attract more people who want to be involved with the increasingly popular hobby of gardening. 30

While the average visitor to the Dixon gardens believes that he or she is seeing a wholly cultivated seventeen acres (if they are aware of the size of the garden at all), but the reality is far different. As much as one third of the Dixon grounds is only lightly tended and waiting for garden conceptualization and building to take place. These unmanaged spaces afford an opportunity to reconceive the way we animate and interpret the whole of the Dixon gardens. The entire seventeen acres has a complex and interesting natural, cultural, and social history to describe, and we are missing significant opportunities when we think of our grounds only as a delivery system for horticulture.

Action Steps  Conceive and create boundary gardens on the north, east, and south edges of the Dixon that engage with the street and adjacent properties  Design and build a garden adjacent to the Formal Gardens to the east that builds on the progress made via the placement of a Jim Buchman sculpture in that area. Perhaps we could create an animation between plants and works of art in that garden  Design and create a garden that will animate the space bordered by the Formal Gardens, the Venus Allée, and the pathway to the East Lawn, focusing on access.  Design and build Learning Gardens in proximity to the Learning Center  Create an interpretive plan that accounts for the whole of the property; consider any outside expertise that might be needed from archaeological, social historical, and cultural standpoints.

Staffing and Other Resources Garden building generally requires that the Dixon bring in temporary help to facilitate the process. While we have a gifted landscape architect on staff, it may be desirable to bring other voices into the conceptualization process, working under his direction and vision.

Budget and Fundraising There would certainly be naming opportunities and other fundraising vehicles in any number of the projects outlined. Moreover, a larger master plan for the grounds would likely be attractive to donors as well.

Impact on the Dixon during Completion of the Project There undoubtedly would be areas made inaccessible during the construction of new gardens and the introduction of new interpretive materials, but they would likely be contained and the time frame carefully controlled. The timing of many of these projects is determined by the seasons. Projects need to be carefully scheduled to minimize impacts to facility use and to maintain a positive visitor experience. Implementation will undoubtedly create interest in the community.


Does the Completed Project Change Staffing Needs or Budgets Going Forward? As more of the property becomes developed, the Dixon will need to invest more financial resources and more staff for the maintenance and care of the gardens, as well as to generate the conceptualization and implementation of the interpretive models we provide.

Outcomes  Dixon becomes more multidisciplinary in its approach to what the gardens have to say, and the gardens will have a deeper meaning  Dixon becomes a model for community building through the gardens project  The gardens become a relevant resource for gardening in the Mid-South by providing a model of how to grow plants and which plants perform best in our climate and soil  More people visit the Dixon gardens  More people support the Dixon gardens

DIXON MASTER PLAN Phase 6 Front of the House and Special Exhibition Galleries  Build a new 7700 square foot front of the house, with space for a welcome center, a larger shop, food service, a gardens interpretive area, membership sales, restrooms, and storage. Upstairs, there would be an additional 6100 square feet for offices. The space will be flexible enough and large enough to accommodate facility rental and special events  Build a 15,000 square foot exhibition hall and expanded back of the house

To be launched in 2020

Analysis For the Dixon to take the next step in its institutional growth and maturation, for it to become a major museum and achieve the full potential of its resources and promise, it must eventually grow. To elevate its stature amongst American and international museums, the Dixon must have more exhibition space. To fully serve and seal the support of its local audience, it must offer a broader range of amenities and experiences than it currently can, including a more significant retail presence and a restaurant (both potential income streams). In short, the Dixon—on one level or another—would be well served to contend with the shortcomings of its Front of the House and with the limitations of its display space.


Front of the House. The Dixon’s front of the house—Catmur Foyer, the shop, and Menke Lounge—are not nearly large enough to serve the purpose for which they were designed. Perhaps more critically, they are in the wrong place. Counter-intuitively, we have pushed our front of the house so far back from where every visitor enters the property and from where most visitors park that our point of welcome and sale is almost irrelevant. By the time visitors arrive at Catmur Foyer, they have traversed at least 500 feet, encountered multiple points of directional decision making, and could well have been at the Dixon for hours. Catmur Foyer as a welcoming space is only large enough to greet visitors and sell tickets. It has never been rented as event space (except in conjunction with Winegardner Auditorium). The museum shop at 430 square feet is tiny, uncomfortable, and does not even pay for itself, in terms of meeting the costs of staff, let alone the expenses of maintaining the space and keeping it climate controlled and lit. Our lack of food service means that the Dixon is almost always empty through the noon hour (except on Wednesdays when we host Munch and Learn). There is currently nothing informational or interpretive about the gardens under the roof of the museum—and there is no reason for there to be, given the distance from the front of the house to the gardens. Finally, after seven years of staff growth and creatively mining new cubicles by repurposing existing spaces (i.e.: the projection booth, the library, shipping and receiving), we are now completely out of cubicle space or spaces that could conceivably become cubicles. We cannot add another staff member or take on another intern without growing our administrative facilities in some way. Exhibition Hall. With a collection of approximately 2000 objects, we can boast that at least half of them are always on view, a fairly high percentage by museum standards. However, that number is misleading. Approximately 1000 of those objects are the German porcelain collection (600) in the Stout Gallery and the pewter collection (400) in Winegardner Auditorium. Of our 347 works of modern French painting, sculpture and graphic arts—by far the most valuable and renowned of our collections—no more than twenty-five to thirty pieces are usually on view at any given time. The lack of space for our permanent collection is only growing more problematic. In 2008, we accepted a collection of 400 works of eighteenth-century English porcelain from longtime Dixon trustee Charlotte Hooker that we have nowhere to display. The prospects of guiding other private collections or even individual works of art as gifts to the Dixon will remain remote until we free up more space for the display of our permanent collection. The absence of a robust collection-building program at the Dixon will limit the museum’s ability to recruit talented curators going forward. The existing Dixon galleries are domestically scaled and graceful spaces that lend themselves to the display of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century easel paintings, the very works of art we collect. Those same spaces are less conducive to showcasing the sometimes very large works of art that appear in contemporary shows or Old Master paintings exhibitions. Moreover, the inflexibility of our temporary exhibition spaces means that all of our shows have relatively the same circulation pattern and feel. They do 33

not contribute anything meaningful to the content of our shows, given that the works must conform to the constrictions of the spaces rather than the spaces reflecting the content. And because our spaces for special exhibitions are generally small, we find it difficult to attract or hosts shows from larger institutions. Finally, there is no dedicated space in our existing galleries for interpretation or education-based discovery rooms. If more of our permanent collection were on view all of the time, we would not feel quite so pressured to prosper solely on the strength of our exhibition calendar. With more of our collection on view throughout the entirety of the existing Dixon, we could take more time between shows. Perhaps even reduce the number of exhibitions from four to three per year, but of course vastly improve the quality of the content and the presentation. As it stands now, we never allow more than two weeks to transition exhibitions, given that there is little for our visitors to see in the museum when we are de-installing and installing exhibitions.

Action Steps  Commission a feasibility study to determine the philanthropic community’s appetite for a capital campaign at the Dixon; develop strategies for the campaign  Create capital finance strategies  Explore growth modeling  Create sustainability and functionality program  Establish a community engagement team  Assemble construction and legal support  Create Human Resources plan  Explore store branding  Explore food service options  Assess economic impact of a larger Dixon on Memphis, Shelby County, State of Tennessee  Launch search for architects; create board and staff search committee; interface the process with Haizlip Studio  Select architects; produce initial design  Launch quiet phase of capital campaign  Hire general contractor  Hire owner representative  Break ground  Build something great

Staffing and Other Resources A project of this scale will necessarily divert a great many resources—staff time, board focus, financial, technical, and more—from other areas if is to come to successful resolution. The project will place great demands on virtually every staff department of the Dixon and representatives from their respective board committees, especially Development, Operations, Finance, Communications, Education, Curatorial, and 34

Gardens. We will need to designate a capital campaign chairperson from the board, and a board campaign committee. We will need consulting expertise to advise and/or to help manage the capital campaign, but also the design process, the permitting, the construction, our membership and development plan, a marketing strategy, our retail presence, food service, audience growth, human resources, economic impact, programming development and assessment, and more.

Budget and Fundraising Naturally, a building project of this scope will be accompanied by a capital fundraising campaign with clearly identified naming opportunities throughout. A lead gift will be essential. It would be advisable to add 50% to the design and construction costs of a new front of the house and exhibition hall for an endowment campaign.

Impact on the Dixon during Completion of the Project Unlike during the Phase 2 of the Master Plan (May-November 2015), when it was expedient to limit access to the facilities as we made improvements to the buildings and infrastructure, some of the Dixon’s galleries should remain open throughout the entirety of the expansion. However, the Plough and Stout Galleries will undoubtedly have to be closed. Access to the Leatherman Workroom likely will be affected as well. Certainly, there will be significant impact on the gardens. Does the Completed Project Change Staffing Needs or Budgets Going Forward? Almost doubling the interior space of the Dixon will undoubtedly impact our staffing needs and budgets going forward. Virtually every operating expense we incur would be affected, including significant increases in the costs of our utilities, security, staffing, insurance, maintenance, and programming. See Addendum A for a ten-year projection of annual operating budgets extrapolated from the needs and opportunities expressed in this plan. The Dixon will experience only incremental growth in expenses and revenues between 2014 and 2018, but more accelerated growth between 2019 and 2023, when we begin to occupy new buildings.

Outcomes  Dixon becomes a world class museum  Dixon attendance triples by 2023 (over 2014 totals)  Dixon membership doubles by 2023  Dixon earned income from facility rental doubles by 2023  Dixon earned income from Museum shop revenue quadruples by 2023  Dixon develops revenue streams through its restaurant vendor, which also becomes our exclusive caterer, providing another source of revenue


     

Dixon collection of paintings, sculpture and works on paper grows by 50 works by 2023 Dixon uses technology to stream information on its permanent collection on display in the galleries Dixon attracts bigger and better exhibitions Dixon attracts more significant museum partners Dixon becomes a destination for cultural travelers Dixon becomes a hub for social interaction in Memphis


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.