A Founder and Nonprofit Forcibly Parted: The Importance of the Board Chair Role

January 16, 2017; Artforum

In Portland, Oregon, the board of the Disjecta Contemporary Art Center announced in mid-November that the founder and executive director, Bryan Suereth, would be fired as of the end of the year because of leadership conflicts. Suereth founded the 17-year-old arts space four years before it became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in need of a board in 2004. Since then, he has served at their discretion, which has now ended abruptly. The organization’s IRS Form 990 report for 2015 shows it as having a budget of just under $500,000. Its staff is small, and Suereth is not well paid.