Executive director DJ Bassett stands inside the Museum and Arts Center exhibit building. He oversees staff for MAC programs, the exhibit building, the DeWitt administrative offices and archives, Second Chance Consignment Shop and Old Dungeness Schoolhouse. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
by MATTHEW NASH
After four months of service as interim director, DJ Bassett has been named the executive director of the Museum and Arts Center of the Sequim Dungeness Valley. MAC board trustees unanimously made the decision at a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 11. Former executive director Katherine Vollenweider retired last summer.
Bassett was one of 12 candidates and three finalists.
“I think the most important item from my perspective is that he was the prime candidate who knew the community members, the farms, old city buildings and the history of those old places,” said board member Priscilla Hudson.
Hudson thought many of the candidates had elements, like grant writing, but not the full range of skills for the executive director position.
“DJ definitely had all the puzzle pieces fit,” she said.
Layton Carr, board vice president, thought there was a high level of quality from the applicants and that the three finalists were the “cream of the crop.”
“DJ was clearly the right person at the right time for the museum,” Carr said.
“He has the management and personnel skills, and during his tenure as interim director he has clearly demonstrated an ability to organize and oversee the affairs of the museum.”
Accomplished so far
Bassett has developed a master plan for the MAC, implemented digitizing the archives, recruiting research aides and began work on cataloging the entire collection.
Staff members are working on management of MAC’s large warehouse, which holds thousands of artifacts, by cataloging, photographing and placing items into a database.
Bassett said this would help with exhibits, pinpoint duplicate items, create space and lead to more information going online.
He wants to continue pushing for more educational offerings, which continue to be popular.
“I’ve thought about the MAC and the direction in which it needs to go for several years,” Bassett said.
“There has been a lot of work done and there’s still a lot to do and we’re on track. I think the MAC is poised at this junction with the staff, volunteers and board to make it happen.”
Bassett oversees more than 100 volunteers who help run operations at the DeWitt Administration Building, Exhibit Building, Second Chance Consignment Shop and Old Dungeness Schoolhouse. He remains chairman of the Clallam County Heritage Advisory Board, an artist and a fine art photographer.
The MAC Exhibit Center, 175 W. Cedar St. in Sequim, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Contact the MAC at 683-8110 or visit www.macsequim.org.
Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@Sequimgazette.com.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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