Rob Sidner was appointed Mingei International Museum’s second Director in April 2006. Since then, he has overseen the organization and / or installation of 21 exhibitions including EVA ZEISEL — Extraordinary Designer at 100, the first exhibition of the world-renowned designer’s work to be seen on the West Coast, THE BEAUTY OF USE – Mingei International Museum at 30, FORMS IN WOOD AND FIBER – Southern California New Work. Sidner is currently curating RITE AND RITUAL – Ceremonial Art Across Cultures, selected from the Museum’s collections and opening at the Escondido facility in September of this year. Sidner is implementing the Museum’s first comprehensive five-year Strategic Plan and has completed formation of a management team -- adding a Director of Exhibitions, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Development and Director of Marketing and Planning. During this period the Museum has completed a governance transition from being a founder-led to a director and board-led institution, developing its organizational infrastructure across all departments. The Museum’s education offerings have been significantly increased, and outreach and diversity efforts expanded.
Rob Sidner joined the staff of Mingei International in September 1993 as Membership Coordinator. A year later, he was appointed Director of Public Relations and, in summer 1996, was named Assistant Director. During his tenure at Mingei International, he has played an integral part in planning the build out of the Museum's 41,000-square-foot facility in Balboa Park and its North County venue in Escondido. The institution's budget and its permanent collection of arts of the people — currently 19,500 objects from 141 countries, have doubled, and the staff has quadrupled.
As Assistant Director, he managed, with the Director, all aspects of the Museum's daily operation, its program, long-range planning and financial development with direct responsibility for overseeing membership, public relations and exhibition related events and supervising a majority of the 25 member staff.
Named Acting Director in November 2005, he instituted both marketing and membership initiatives. With Board approval he hired Safdie and Rabines Architects to develop a master plan for further development and adaptation of the Museum's facilities. Under his leadership, the Museum presented a two-day festival of Norwegian events as the grand finale of the exhibition NORWAY — Art of the Land and the People.
As Owner / Director of the Cable Gallery in San Diego in 1991 - 1992, Mr. Sidner represented and exhibited the work of 25 artists. From 1969 - 1991, Mr. Sidner served as a Roman Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, during ten years of that time leading two major parishes, serving as dean of a region of parishes, as a consultor to the bishop and as a member of numerous church and civic boards and committees – local, regional and national. He was a member of the staff and faculty of Saint Meinrad College, St. Meinrad, Indiana from 1977 - 1981, and holds the rank of Assistant Professor. From 1981 - 1991, he was a member and, for four years, Chairperson of the Art and Architecture Committee of the Diocese of Toledo, advising parochial and diocesan leaders on the building and renovation of church structures and the acquisition and preservation of art holdings by parishes. Mr. Sidner received a BA degree in English from Saint Meinrad College, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from Gregorian University in Rome, Italy and an MA degree in Liturgy from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.