The Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History & Nature
        Sponsored the following presentation:
Downtown Library 2009 - 2010 Noon Hour Lecture Series
"Imagining Buffalo Niagara in the 21st Century"

Presented by: Ted Pietrzak
Director, Burchfield-Penney Art Center
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Summary by Dennis Galucki

Ted Pietrzak came to Buffalo in 1998 from Canada and was immediately confronted with a $1 million donation to help create new museum space. Ten years later that idea and dream became a reality. Mr. Pietrzak recounted what he felt were the the necessary components of the
Burchfield-Penney Art Center (BPAC) successful strategy in his presentation, "The Little Engine that Could."

First, define goals.
For the BPAC, it was to advance Buffalo State college and enhance the city of Buffalo by creating a space that would effect people
through the experience of both art and museum space.

Second, develop a process to accomplish the goals.
BPAC developed a four stage process:
a. hire the right architect for the project to help explore design possibilities.
b. develop a visioning process around imagining a great space to experience art.
c. visit several other museums to see what works and does not work.
d. engage a large focus group, about 250, to discuss the necessary functions of a museum building.

Third, assume change will happen.
For example, 9/11 forced changes as well as the interaction with NY State's Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
In short, being flexible is a necessary component for success.

The results of this process was an award winning new museum accomplishing the goals of fostering successful art exhibits and creating memorable experiences for patrons.

This has led to record attendance and a significant increase in membership support and overall community pride in a job well done.

Please also note the Buffalo Rising website about the
Center and the March speakers
and The Buffalo News
video and story.
audio version of the talk

Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature