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October 11, 2017

A tribute to Holly Block

Holly Block, Executive Director of the Bronx Museum passed away Friday October 6th, at her home in Manhattan due to Breast Cancer.

We had the pleasure to work with Holly on audience development in anticipation of the expansion of the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Holly Block was a tough woman, determined to ensure that the people of an often overlooked borough always had a voice in their museum. As Executive Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts since 2006, Holly truly had her finger on the pulse of the community. When the Bronx Museum began contemplating expansion, Holly ensured that the Museum reached out and consulted with the communities right outside their doors. From Yankee Stadium up the Boulevard and into the northern suburbs, Holly took the time to both ask and listen before major changes were made.

Holly was a master of creating community partnerships, with hospitals, colleges & universities and grassroots organizations. One example includes the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program which provides professional development opportunities to emerging artists residing in the New York metropolitan areas. The AIM program includes seminars and biennial catalogues and exhibitions. In the past AIM has showcased Bronx artists on Randall Island.

Under Holly’s tenure the Bronx Museum became a gathering place, a safe space, and a place that inspires commitment and devotion from those who know it. This is demonstrated through a more than 50% local attendance rate. 31% of Bronx Museum attendees learned about the museum or a program through referrals from family or friends. The Bronx Museum is doing a lot, and investing in their community. Attendance is increasing by leaps and bounds with an increase of around 10,000 year over year for the past 5 years.

With great events such as Boogie on the Boulevard, the Bronx community is embracing the Museum more and more each year. The Bronx Museum has thrived where others have failed and it is very much due to Holly’s unabashed connection to the people of the Bronx. 

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