WILMINGTON, DE.-The Delaware Art Museum has announced the selection of Melissa Hitchens Mulrooney as Interim Executive Director. In this role, Mulrooney will lead the Delaware Art Museum through the final phase of its three-year expansion and renovation campaign and into its new facility for opening celebrations on Kentmere Parkway. Mulrooney is well acquainted with the Museum, having served as its Director of Marketing Communications and Publications from 1984-1994. Over her eleven-year tenure, she managed the Museum’s successful 1987 capital campaign program, supported annual development programs, created major audience development events such as Jazz-on-Tap and the Nouveau Beaujolais Wine Tasting, and created and edited the award-winning Delaware Art Museum Quarterly Magazine.
Mulrooney left the Delaware Art Museum in 1994 to become Vice President & Museum Director of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, a position she held until 2000. While at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, she transformed the Newport Casino, a National Historic Landmark property designed by Stanford White in 1880, into a world-class sports and social history museum with rich collections and an international profile. Again, Mulrooney directed a major renovation—this time a multi-million dollar project, that included phased renovation, content design, and collections growth of the Museum, and new Information Research Center.
From 2001-2002, Mulrooney worked with the Chess-in-the-Schools program in New York, New York as Deputy Director of External Affairs. She directed development and marketing communications efforts to identify, cultivate, and solicit new funding sources and raise the profile of the organization. Mulrooney also created and implemented a $3.6 million annual development plan for maintenance and measured growth of annual fundraising and marketing activities. She co-developed the vision for a new strategic plan focused on governance, board development, fundraising, and marketing programs.
Mulrooney then led the Museum of Arts & Design, New York, New York into the first phase of a two phase $70 million Capital Campaign in 2002-2003. As Consulting Director, Capital Campaign, she developed the campaign infrastructure focused on a first phase goal of $50 million.
An Adjunct Professor in the Masters Program of the Steinhardt School of Education, Department of Art & Art Professions, New York University, New York, New York, Mulrooney teaches Principles & Practices in Visual Arts Administration, a course which explores best practices in executive administration of museums, including marketing communications, fundraising, finance, board development, educational programs, collections, and strategic planning.
The Museum Staff and Board of Directors welcome Melissa Mulrooney. Her vast experience in museum administration, marketing expertise, knowledge of successful building expansion projects and capital campaigns will prove invaluable to the Delaware Art Museum during this exciting time as it plans its return to its once-and-future home on Kentmere Parkway.