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Toledo Museum of Art appoints Mike Deetsch as director of development

August 9, 2023

When the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) launched their search for a new director of development, they found the perfect candidate in their own education department. Mike Deetsch, TMA’s former Emma Leah Bippus senior director of learning and engagement, served as interim director of development before his full-time appointment this year.

His passion for the arts, community engagement and youth and family programs align with TMA’s mission to integrate art into the lives of people. As the director of development, Deetsch pairs his interests with his institutional knowledge to continue to elevate the Toledo Museum of Art as a valuable community partner in Northwest Toledo and a model museum in the United States.

“When Mike Deetsch stepped in as interim director of development, he quickly demonstrated his ability to be an engine for institutional growth and a thought partner in our philanthropic strategy,” said Adam M. Levine, Toledo Museum of Art’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director and CEO. “Using his decade of experience leading learning and interpretation at the Museum, Mike can blend an intimate knowledge of TMA operations with his art and educational content matter expertise to advocate for support of the Museum.”

Deetsch has more than 25 years of art and history museum leadership experience. He joined TMA in 2013 as the assistant director of education. He also served as the director of education and engagement. His impact at TMA during the last decade has been vast. Deetsch led a team of over 150 staff and volunteers in the learning and interpretation department to successes such as increasing scholarships by 300%, growing the TMA Block Party to over 10,000 visitors and creating original content for the launch of the Center of Visual Expertise (COVE). He also co-curated “The Mummies: From Egypt to Toledo,” an exploration around the 20th century phenomenon of Egyptomania, and “Speaking Visual,” a curatorial manifestation of the Museum’s visual literacy methodologies.

“This hire demonstrates our commitment to becoming an employer of choice,” said Levine. “We look internally first, favoring skillsets rather than on-paper credentials, in order to develop pathways through the organization.”

“TMA’s ambitious plans have transformative potential, and I am excited to bolster our philanthropic efforts to help the Museum reach new heights,” said Deetsch. “Our strategy and team give me confidence we will achieve the goal of becoming the model art museum in the United States.”

Before joining TMA, Deetsch worked with the Brooklyn Museum, Kentucky Historical Society and the Lexington Art League in programs and education. Speaking engagements and presentations include the National Safety Council Congress & Expo (Anaheim, California), Annual International Visual Literacy Association Conference (Montreal, Canada and Leuven, Belgium) and American Association for State and Local History Annual Conference (Detroit). Deetsch has written or co-written seven publications, including “Seeing Across Disciplines: An Experiment in Visual Literacy Across Higher Education,” “Art Museums, Literacy and Intrinsic Motivation” and “Visual Literacy at the Toledo Museum of Art.” He currently serves as an arts advisory board member for the Toledo School for the Arts and has previously been on the boards of the International Visual Literacy Association and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.

Deetsch holds a bachelor's degree in art history from Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana) and a master’s degree in art education from Pratt Institute (New York). He also attended the Getty Leadership Institute’s “Museum Leaders: The Next Generation.”


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