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MOCA Postpones Gala to Spring Amid Turmoil in Top Ranks

6/12/2014 Alexander C. Kaufman

By Alexander C. Kaufman

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, plagued by internal turmoil, has passed on holding its annual fundraising gala this year.

The downtown museum said Friday that the event -- it's biggest fundraiser -- won't be held in 2012.  In recent years, musicians including Beck, Devendra Banhart and Lady Gaga have headlined the gala, usually slated for November. 

The next gala is scheduled for the spring of 2013.

The shift in timing comes amid the resignations of at least seven board members this year, including artists John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. Paul Schimmel, the museum's longtime chief curator, stepped down on June 29.

The departures began after current director Jeffrey Deitch, a former New York gallery owner, took over in January, 2010.  After Schimmel left in June, Deitch initially said he would assume the role of curator. But MOCA's board said in August that it planned to hire a new curator.

A spokeswoman for the museum said that the galas are typically held once each fiscal year and that, while it has thrown the party for the last three consecutive years, MOCA has gone some years without an event.

"The point of a museum doing a gala is that it's a major fundraising initiative," Lyn Winter, a spokeswoman for MOCA, told TheWrap. "There is no format for when we do them or how often we do them."

She added that, while the gala has been scheduled for November in recent years, it can be held at various time during the year. 

"We have done over the course of the museum's history galas at all different times of the year," Winter said.

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