Joseph C. Thompson has spearheaded the creation of MASS MoCA from its beginnings in 1987 to its realization in 1999. Thompson expanded the institution from its initial mission as a venue for the display of contemporary visual works, to a center that encompasses and erases the traditional line between the visual and performing arts. During his time as director, Thompson has overseen the development of the architectural program for the 13-acre campus of 19th-century factory buildings; articulated the institution's far-ranging program; and built the center's staff, board, and governing structure. He has sparked and nurtured many of the projects developed as part of MASS MoCA's evolution and site-testing, including Desire, the first solo exhibition of the visual art of David Byrne; the Clocktower Project, a permanent sound art installation by Christina Kubisch; and EarMarks, an exhibition of seven site-specific sound art installations in Northern Berkshire County. He served as a Center management panelist in 2011.