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Epsten Gallery Executive Director To Step Down: Marcus Cain Will Depart In September


Executive Director Marcus Cain will be leaving the Epsten Gallery following seven years of dedicated service to the organization and the community. Cain, who also previously served as Curator for the Epsten Gallery, will conclude his service on September 30, 2014 to explore new professional opportunities in Kansas City.
Marcus Cain working in the ARTicipation booth at the Jewish Arts Festival, Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 2013. (Photography courtesy Epsten Gallery Foundation; Carla Malone Steck) 
"As our Curator and Executive director, Marcus has established this gallery as a unique art space that offers quality exhibits to our community. Our extremely successful ARTicipation program is directly related to his vision and creativity. Over the years, his dedication and perseverance has taken us to the next level and we are grateful to him for all his hard work. The board wishes him well in his new endeavors," says Regina Kort, Immediate Past President of the Epsten Gallery.
“I am pleased with the work I have accomplished for the Epsten Gallery Foundation over these last seven years in helping the Gallery renew its mission and purpose,” says Marcus Cain. “It’s programs are making a real difference in the lives of those it serves, and I have tremendous confidence in the leadership of the organization to continue on the path that has been set forth based on our recent successes.”
Marcus Cain joined the Epsten Gallery in September 2007 at a critical point in the development of the Gallery’s programs, as their first full-time Curator. Cain went on to organize more than 42 exhibitions and projects for the Epsten Gallery. He also conceived, developed, and launched the organization’s ARTicipation art therapy program and began partnerships with the Kansas Art Therapy Association and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. 
Most recently, he oversaw the successful completion of a capital improvements renovation of the Epsten Gallery space at Village Shalom, funded by a private donors and a grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Among these efforts, Cain might consider ARTicipation as his most significant contribution to the Gallery. This program has raised awareness for the need to facilitate programs for audiences with special abilities, and he sees this as an important aspect of the Epsten Gallery’s identity. 
“The philosophy behind the creation of this organization has been to connect communities and generations through art, and this has always included partnerships to serve special audiences who are not being reached by traditional venues and programs,” says Cain. “Now, this is part of our mission.”
After working directly with Cain in the implementation of his ARTicipation program, fellow colleague Sherri Jacobs, MA-ATR Registered Art Therapist says, “Marcus Cain has the wonderful qualities of vision, tenacity, and a great respect from his colleagues in the arts community. His role as Director and Curator have allowed the Epsten to expand in so many creative ways. As a bridge builder between cultural institutions, Marcus not only cultivated each partnership under his watch, but helped other organizations grow along with the Epsten. The thousands of people who have entered the Epsten during his tenure would probably attest to feeling impacted in a very positive way by their experiences.”
Cain will spend the remainder of his time working alongside Epsten Gallery Curator Heather Lustfeldt and the Board of Directors to follow through with the organization’s 10th annual UrbanSuburban fundraiser. With exhibition programming planned through 2015, the organization is anticipating a smooth and gradual transition going forward. 
“The stellar reputation that the Epsten Gallery has in our community is a direct result of Marcus’ passion, innovation, and vision. We are grateful for all his contributions,” says Lynn Intrater, President of the Epsten Gallery.