Best Unemployed Museum Director (2009)

Cydney Payton

Last fall, MCA Denver celebrated its first year in its spiffy David Adjaye-designed building at the edge of the Platte Valley. During that time, over 50,000 people made their way through. This response — not to mention the building itself — was orchestrated almost single-handedly by Cydney Payton, who served as executive director and head curator from 2001 through 2008. Payton not only oversaw the design process, but she ran the business end, as well, and programmed all the shows, which will continue to pull thousands of visitors into the place.