Michael Prokopow Named ROM’s New Managing Director of ICC

The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is pleased to announce Michael Prokopow as its new Managing Director, effective November 12, 2007. Holding a PhD in history from Harvard University and serving as a faculty member at Ryerson University and curator at Toronto’s Design Exchange, Mr. Prokopow has extensive knowledge of historical and contemporary culture, architecture and design. Mr. Prokopow has extensive knowledge of historical and contemporary culture, architecture and design. Mr. Prokopow replaces the previous ICC Managing Director Kelvin Browne, who was named Executive Director of Marketing and Commercial Development for the ROM in July 2007.

“The ICC has established itself as an important facet of the new ROM in relating contemporary art and current cultural issues to the public, as well as within the Museum,” said William Thorsell, ROM Director and CEO. “Under the leadership of Mr. Prokopow, the ICC will continue to be a dynamic voice of contemporary culture for the city.”

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome Michael as our new Managing Director,” said Ron Graham, Chair of the ICC Board. “We look forward to working with him as the ICC plans an engaging line-up of exhibitions and programming in 2008.”

Born and raised in Victoria, and taking his undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria, Mr. Prokopow has taught in the Departments of History at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Currently, he teaches in the School of Interior Design and the History department at Ryerson University and he is a member of Ryerson University’s School of Graduate Studies where he teaches courses in visual culture and cultural and communications theory in the Ryerson/York Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. Mr. Prokopow teaches in the School of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Since 2004, Mr. Prokopow has served as the curator at the Design Exchange, Canada’s national design centre and museum, where his responsibilities include the maintenance and development of the permanent and study collections of Canadian industrial design and the development of exhibitions, curatorial projects and public programs. He has published and spoken at conferences and lectures on topics such as design and taste, architecture, contemporary consumerism, historic preservation and the meanings of craft in contemporary postmodern society.

Mr. Prokopow joins the ICC as it prepares for its 2008 exhibitions and programs. Currently, the ICC-organized exhibition Shapeshifters, Time Travellers and Storytellers, presented by BMO Financial Group, is on display in the new Roloff Beny Gallery on the top floor of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal until February 28, 2008. One of the feature components of the ROM's A Season of Canada, this exhibition showcases existing and new works by eight leading contemporary aboriginal artists. Earlier this fall, the ICC presented DARFUR/DARFUR, a powerful photography exhibit and the first to be projected onto the façade of the Lee-Chin Crystal, and hosted a sold-out audience for the second annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture by professor, philosopher and noted writer Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah.

About the Institute for Contemporary Culture

The ROM’s Institute for Contemporary Culture plays a vital role in a museum whose collections embrace many civilizations, as well as the record of nature through countless ages. In the context of the ROM’s lively documentation of history, the ICC explores current cultural issues through exhibitions of art and architecture, lectures, film series, and informal gatherings. The ICC provides a unique forum where the new encounters the historical and anthropological. It explores both the continuity and discontinuity of cultures—their relationships across space and time, to each other and to the natural world. The ROM’s collections provide context and depth to contemporary issues addressed by artists, architects, and participants in ICC events from around the world. For further information, please visit the ICC website at www.rom.on.ca/about/icc/