After a lively meeting between the museum board and its members last week, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art has pressed pause on plans to drop the word “Valley” from its name.
The annual members meeting on March 15 yielded a high turnout, with many in attendance opposed to the proposed rebranding.
Museum Executive Director Linda Keaton said the board had sufficient proxy votes to pass the name change, but decided to postpone a decision until more members could weigh in.
“We listened to what our members had to say about the name change during our annual meeting on March 15 and have decided to take more time to seek additional community engagement,” Keaton said. “Our intention is to set up a special members meeting in the next 30 days for the purpose of discussing this issue more thoroughly.”
The postponement of the decision is welcome news to metal sculptor Jim Callahan, one of SVMA’s original founders.
Callahan is proud of the museum’s mission as a “regional center for visual arts programming,” and sees the proposed name change as a shedding of “its identity and association with Sonoma Valley.”
Keaton expects to announce the date for the next members meeting soon.
Editor’s note: a previous version of this story incorrectly reported that a vote had been taken at the members meeting.