Academy creates two new posts to manage film museum project


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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has named Heather Cochran and Bill Kramer to oversee the management of the ambitious academy film museum to be housed on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Heather Cochran, who has been a part of the academy’s efforts to establish a film museum in Los Angeles since 2004, will serve as managing director, academy museum project, while veteran fundraiser Bill Kramer will be the managing director, development. Both will report to academy chief executive Dawn Hudson.


Cochran will be charged with managing and executing the overall vision for the project, while Kramer will oversee the museum’s capital campaign and fundraising efforts.

Kramer began his fundraising career in 1999 with the Sundance Institute. He most recently served as the chief advancement officer for the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He will work with Disney CEO Bob Iger, as well as academy board members Tom Hanks and Annette Bening, who have already been charged with leading the museum’s capital campaign.

[Updated at 7:22 p.m., March 21: In an interview, Cochran and Kramer said they are both energized by the academy’s renewed support for the museum. They said they hope to announce the architect for the project in the next few weeks and have a 2016 date in mind for the opening of the institution. (When the LACMA partnership was announced last fall, academy leaders said the museum could open as soon as 2014.)

According to Kramer, the fundraising has already been successful under the guidance of Iger. The organization is in the “silent” part of its campaign and is reaching out to the more than 6,000 members of the academy, the studios and agencies that support it, and other foundations that support the arts.

The hope is to raise more than $100 million by October in this phase of the fundraising, and Kramer expressed confidence that they will reach that number. While specific dollar amounts weren’t given, Kramer said the silent phase of the fundraising will represent 60% of the total needed to fund the museum. The academy itself has already pledged $50 million to the project.

Kramer praised the academy’s board of governors and the museum committee, which is being chaired by former academy president Sid Ganis. “I’ve never seen such an engaged and enthusiastic leadership group ready to make this happen,” said Kramer. “They are all behind the project.]


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--Nicole Sperling