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SAVANNAH, GA (May 16, 2018) Telfair Museums announced today that Lisa Grove will be leaving her position as Director/CEO at the end of the month to join the Obama Foundation and its Obama Presidential Center to be built in Chicago.

“It has been a great privilege working alongside the Board and staff of Telfair Museums for the past six and a half years, and I am incredibly proud to have led the organization to record heights of financial stability and programmatic excellence,” said Grove.

“We will miss Lisa’s capable leadership talents, but we applaud her for her appointment to this important role,” said Ted Kleisner, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “Lisa leaves the Telfair with an impressive legacy on which we will continue to build. She will be greatly missed. With the depth of the museum’s executive staff and devotion of our trustees, I am confident that Telfair Museums will continue to thrive in the years to come. Telfair Museums’ financial position has been significantly strengthened during Lisa’s tenure.”

Since joining Telfair Museums in January 2012, Grove has led the museum to elevated national recognition, garnering multiple national, regional, and local awards for exhibitions and programs. She spearheaded the major Slavery and Freedom in Savannah project, a multi-year scholarly initiative researching the rare urban slave quarters located on the site of one of the Telfair’s historic properties. In conjunction with this award-winning project, Grove oversaw the launch of an annual series of contemporary art exhibitions, featuring artists Paul Stephen Benjamin, Nick Cave, Whitfield Lovell, Mickalene Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems, that explores issues of race in America. She also strengthened the museum’s ties to the local community, expanding educational outreach programs and launching the #Art912 initiative highlighting work of local artists.

Grove also raised record amounts of funding during her tenure, producing six consecutive years of operating surpluses while increasing the overall budget by 25%. Since her arrival, Director’s Circle giving is up 60%, and museum attendance, admissions revenue, and memberships are each up 50%. “We’ve had an incredibly successful trajectory over the past several years, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our team,” said Grove.” I am confident that Telfair Museums will continue to reach new levels of success in the future.”

Kleisner announced that Telfair Museums has formed a search committee to begin the process of recruiting the next Director/CEO.


About Telfair Museums:

Opened in 1886, Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South and features a world-class art collection in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District. The museum encompasses three sites: the Jepson Center for the Arts, the Owens-Thomas House, and the Telfair Academy. For more information, call 912-790-8800 or visit Telfair Museums is a registered, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Telfair is wholly funded by generous individuals, corporations, and grant-making institutions.


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