Thompson Ends Tenure As Director Of MASS MoCA
The founding director of MASS MoCA has officially ended his 33-year tenure as director of the sprawling North Adams, Massachusetts contemporary art museum.
Thursday marked the end of Joe Thompson’s run as director of the museum, which began as an idea in the late 1980’s before opening on the campus of the former Sprague Electric factory complex in downtown North Adams in 1999.
Thompson will serve as an advisor to the Board of Trustees for another year. He leaves as director after a punishing year for the museum, which endured a March to July closure and a deep round of layoffs due to COVID-19.
“My colleagues are ready," Thompson told WAMC. "Strong board, and we’ve somehow dodged and weaved and made it through the trials and tribulations of the last four or five months with our little precious starter endowment intact.”
Thompson announced the move this summer. He also faces a charge of motor vehicle homicide related to a 2018 incident where a motorcyclist died after a collision with a car Thompson was driving in North Adams. He has pleaded not guilty.