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New York Foundation for the Arts, Eric Adams celebrate Brooklyn’s newest women arts leaders

February 10, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Anne Pasternak, who became the Brooklyn Museum’s director in September 2015, is the first woman to lead the museum. Portrait by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
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The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams are celebrating three recently appointed women leaders of prominent Brooklyn cultural organizations: Katy Clark, president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Charlotte Cohen, executive director of the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC); and Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum. On Thursday, March 3, from 6 to 8 p.m., a special reception in their honor will be held at NYFA’s space in DUMBO.

2016 will mark these women’s first year in their new roles, and NYFA and Adams are taking this opportunity to acknowledge their individual contributions while also celebrating the diverse artistic and cultural history of the borough. By bringing in world-class national and international artists and supporting Brooklyn-based arts communities, these institutions are a vital part of the cultural life of the borough and city of New York.

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Adams said he is delighted to welcome these leaders for a special evening in DUMBO. “I am proud to honor three women of high distinction — Katy Clark, Charlotte Cohen and Anne Pasternak — whose leadership of their respective cultural institutions will build on the second-to-none reputation that Brooklyn has achieved as an international center for creativity,” he said. “I am certain we will have many opportunities to work in partnership to support the jobs, tourism, and world-renowned art to which these centers of culture contribute.”

“At NYFA, artists are the center of everything we do,” said Michael L. Royce, NYFA executive director. “We frequently partner with the Brooklyn Arts Council to support emerging artists and many of the artists we helped early in their careers have gone on to show their work at the Brooklyn Museum and BAM. We are thrilled to see these women lead these key cultural institutions and to see how they will shape the arts and cultural scene in Brooklyn and beyond.”

Clark joined BAM, a renowned performing arts institution, in July 2015. She oversees BAM’s 248 full-time employees and works alongside longtime BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo. Clark leads an organization that engages with 700,000 audience members each year, presenting live performances and films from around the world. BAM features four live performance spaces, ranging in capacity from 250 to more than 2,000 seats, a vibrant independent cinema program and far-reaching education and humanities initiatives.

As BAC’s newly appointed executive director, Cohen brings with her more than 25 years of experience in the arts. Before coming to Brooklyn Arts Council, she served as the Fine Arts Officer at the U.S. General Services Administration where she oversaw the federal government’s Fine Arts Collection in the Northeast and Caribbean region. Previously, she was the director of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program, managing the commissioning and installation of dozens of public art projects across the five boroughs, working closely with artists in all stages of their careers and from across the globe.

Pasternak, who is the first woman to lead the Brooklyn Museum, the second largest art museum in the city, joined the museum on Sept. 1, 2015. Previously, she served as the president and artistic director of Creative Time, a nonprofit arts organization based in New York City that commissions and presents adventurous public art projects. In her 20 years of leadership, the organization collaborated with hundreds of artists, expanded its work globally and introduced millions of people to innovative contemporary art practices. Pasternak envisions new ways to connect the Brooklyn Museum’s historical collections with leading-edge ideas and practices.


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