Rachel Goslins will depart SI at the end of August

Rachel Goslins, director of the Arts + Industries Building, will be leaving at the end of August.

Portrait of Goslins
Rachel Goslins became director of the Arts and Industries Building, effective August 22, 2016 (Photo by Blink Photography)

Under Secretary for Museums and Culture Kevin Gover announced earlier this week that Goslins, who joined the Smithsonian six years ago to bring vision and strategy to reimagining AIB as a hub for 21st-century audiences, has accepted a new role as the Chief Creative Officer of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.

“In a relatively brief time, Rachel transformed AIB historic space into a home for creative thinking and big, bold ideas focused on the future,” said Gover. “Starting with the signature Long Conversation events in 2017 and 2018 and By the People in 2018 and 2019—plus numerous pan-institutional events and tech-forward projects such as the Institution-wide Pepper the Robot project — AIB gained a reputation for unexpected, playful initiatives that piloted new forms of museum engagement. She grew AIB’s staff from zero to 34 in just a few years and, in that same period, raised almost $20 million to support their work and that of the Institution.” 

FUTURES was the capstone of these efforts, re-introducing AIB to the public with its first major exhibition in two decades. It was executed on an almost impossibly short timeline and during a global pandemic. Celebrating the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with our first building-wide exploration of the future, FUTURES welcomed more than 650,000 visitors in just over seven months, hosting more than 60 public learning programs attended by 75,000 visitors. The part-exhibition and part-festival featured more than150 historical objects, contemporary art installations, prototypes, and interactives blending art, tech, science, and design, incorporating content from 22 different SI museums and initiatives and 40 new outside partners. Events and festivals spanned everything from a “Future Scientist Career Day” and the If/Then sculpture installation to a fashion show and panels on the future of health, work, and food. Most importantly, it drew diverse, enthusiastic audiences of all ages to the Institution to feel a vital sense of hope and inspiration for the future during one of the most challenging collective periods in recent memory.

In her new role at MCAAD, a new cultural institution working on expanding opportunity and access for all. At MCAAD, she will lead creative vision and execution, including building and overseeing a new Visitors Center adjacent to the White House, digital platforms, public programming, and impact for the Center’s physical and online spaces.

“We will miss Rachel’s dynamic leadership, collaborative approach, and commitment to furthering the Smithsonian mission,” Gover continued. “Please join me in congratulating her as she takes on her next challenge.”

Posted: 5 August 2022
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni is primarily responsible for "other duties as assigned" in the Office of Communications and External Affairs. She has been with the Smithsonian since 2006 and plans to be interred in the Smithson crypt.

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