Campus & Community

Lori Gross named associate provost for arts and culture

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Lori E. Gross, director of arts initiatives and adviser to the associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been named associate provost for arts and culture at Harvard University, Provost Steven E. Hyman announced today (June 16).

A longtime advocate for the arts, Gross has worked at MIT over the past 13 years advancing arts-related initiatives and facilitating dialogue on arts and culture policy nationally and internationally. In her role as director of arts initiatives, her principal responsibilities included strategic planning, communications policy and implementation, resource development, and facilities planning.

“I am delighted that Lori is joining Harvard,” said Hyman. “This is an exciting moment for the University as it contemplates its enormous cultural and artistic resources, and works to integrate arts more closely into the life and curriculum of the University. Lori’s experience will be very valuable to us in this process.”

As part of her new responsibilities, Gross will work with Harvard’s arts and cultural institutions, including the Harvard Art Museum, the American Repertory Theatre, Villa I Tatti, and the Harvard University Library, on issues ranging from day-to-day operational matters to strategic planning to fundraising. She will work collaboratively with the Office for the Arts to make Harvard’s arts and cultural resources more visible and accessible to both the Harvard and Greater Boston communities. She will be an important participant in Allston planning discussions involving arts and culture components. Finally, she will work in close collaboration with whatever governance and organizational structure is adopted for the arts, in view of recommendations made by the Task Force on the Arts, to begin implementing key Task Force recommendations. The Task Force, established by President Drew Faust in November 2007, is scheduled to report its findings in late fall 2008.

“Joining Harvard during this time of heightened attention to the arts is tremendously exciting,” said Gross. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Harvard’s art and cultural institutions and colleagues from throughout the University to create an even more dynamic arts environment for Harvard and its surrounding communities.”

Gross graduated from Colgate University in 1975 with a degree in art history, and earned a master’s degree in both library science and art history from Case Western Reserve University in 1978 and 1979 (respectively). Gross joined MIT in 1995 as founding director of the Museum Loan Network, where she worked to make objects of cultural heritage more accessible to institutions across the United States and encouraged museums to be catalysts for interdisciplinary collaboration in their communities. Previously, Gross was director of museum services at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, served as a museum and art consultant in Madrid, and as an assistant director of the Daniel Wolf Gallery in New York. She has been actively involved with MIT’s Creative Arts Council, the College Art Association, and the American Association of Museums, is a board member of the Underground Railway Theater, and co-chaired the Cambridge Public School Arts Advisory Council.

Gross, who lives in Cambridge, will assume her new position on July 14.