Veteran Twin Cities arts administrator David Galligan will return to Walker Art Center as deputy director and chief operating officer starting April 15. He served in a similar role at the Walker from 1996 to 2002 under the title COO/treasurer.
He is expected to focus on bonding issues and developing a "campus plan" that will better integrate the Walker's building with the city owned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden across the street. A key question in the plan will be how to use the now-vacant land west of the Walker where the original Guthrie Theater once stood. It is now a popular sledding hill and site for community celebrations including the annual Rock the Garden concert. Various plans have been sketched out during the past eight years, but all have been shelved for lack of money.
During his previous Walker employment, Galligan helped plan the museum's 2005 expansion and was particularly influential in persuading the Minneapolis City Council to pay for a $25 million underground parking garage as part of the complex. He also championed new online education programs, helped diversify the center's financial support and balanced the budget throughout his tenure, a status the Walker has consistently maintained.
Following his Walker tenure, Galligan was president and CEO of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts for four years, during which he restructured relationships with the organization's resident tenants, the Minnesota Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Schubert Club.
A shrewd political operator, he engineered the Ordway's first public support of $8 million from the state of Minnesota and the city of St. Paul and raised $4 million in new endowment funds. He also balanced the Ordway's budget each year.
As an independent consultant since leaving the Ordway, Galligan's nonprofit clients include the Guthrie Theater, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the University of Utah.