Excerpts taken from Making History/ Making Art/ MICA by Douglas Frost, Vice President of Development Emeritus.
Board Chair Eleanor Hutzler believed Maryland Institute College of Art badly needed at the helm an individual with a working knowledge of business fundamentals — a dynamic leader with an affinity for the visual arts and the ability to increase MICA's visibility and engagement in the larger community, and nationally, plus the drive to make things happen. She had been impressed with Lazarus' resume: a BA in Economics from Claremont-McKenna College; an MBA from Harvard Business School (where he had done a study entitled "Strategic Planning in Higher Education"); two years with the Peace Corps in Panama; experience as president of the Washington Council for Equal Business Opportunity and, most recently, a stint as staff assistant to Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Nancy Hanks. Read more »
Eugene Leake said of Lazarus: "He is the right man, at the right place, at the right time." Although Lazarus favored a low-key celebration, the presidential inauguration was scaled appropriately to mark the start of a new era. Lazarus was introduced to the Maryland Institute College of Art community, to the region's civic and educational leaders, and to the public in a manner unprecedented in the institution's recent memory. Read more »
The very busy new president persuaded the Mayor's Committee on Art and Culture to use the Mount Royal area as the location for a new city-wide arts festival being launched in 1981 — rather than the new, popular Inner Harbor. He argued that the Decker Gallery in the Station and Meyerhoff Gallery in Fox were superior venues for two-dimensional work than the kiosks at the harbor. Also, the natural amphitheater of the Mount Royal Station provided a better setting for the visual and performing arts. Artscape soon became an institution drawing big-name talent such as Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Dave Brubeck — and large crowds (tens of thousands, according to officials). Read more »