Greg Carroll is out as head of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz District, officials announced Friday.
Carroll, who had been at the museum’s helm since 2007, was lauded in his departure by members of the board, although there had been rumblings that he was being forced out of his $128,750-a-year job.
“We owe Greg a debt of gratitude,” museum board chairman Trey Runnion said in an announcement of Carroll’s departure. “Under his leadership, we have grown to the next level, increased patronage and fundraising, put in place exciting centerpiece programs and have launched a strategic planning process that will chart our future.”
In the announcement, Carroll thanked his colleagues.
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“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented, dedicated and passionate people here in Kansas City associated with the American Jazz Museum,” he said. “Together we have truly moved the needle forward in the spirit of Kansas City’s cultural heritage — jazz.”
Some have been disappointed that the museum has not been able to generate more income. City subsidies have made up about a third of the museum’s budget.
In the proposed city budget, the mayor and city manager had suggested a $125,000 cut in subsidies in an attempt to force Carroll and the board to work harder at finding other funding sources. That cut was later whittled to $60,000.
City officials have tried to bring more development to a part of town that has never lived up to its early promise despite more than $70 million in public and private investment.
The jazz museum opened in 1997 as the centerpiece of the effort to redevelop the 18th and Vine area. The museum operates the Blue Room jazz club, the Gem Theater, the Changing Gallery and the Swing Shop.
The museum CEO supervises a staff of 25 full-time and part-time employees and a large group of volunteers. The board intends to hire a search firm to find Carroll’s replacement and hopes to make a hire by the end of the year.
“Greg has created significant opportunities for us as an education and research institution, as an entertainment venue and as a visitor destination,” board member Anita Maltbia said in the announcement. “We appreciate his foresight and his dedication to furthering our mission of celebrating and experiencing jazz as an original American art form.”