21 Appointees Represent Diversity and Strength of NYC’s Cultural Community... who for NEO?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 07/07/2006 - 09:20.

What 21 members would be good choices for a cultural advisory commission to advised the Mayor, Cultural Affairs Commissioner, and other City officials on critical cultural issues? Here is who NYNY's Mayor Bloomberg asked to serve.



21 Appointees Represent Diversity and Strength of NYC’s Cultural Community

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of 21 members to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, a cultural advocacy body mandated by the City Charter that has advised the Mayor, Cultural Affairs Commissioner, and other City officials on critical cultural issues for over 25 years.  The Commission, whose new members met today for the first time, will function as a “working board” to assist the Department of Cultural Affairs in serving New York City’s non-profit cultural community, providing assistance and advocacy in several areas of critical need affecting cultural groups.  The Commission, whose members represent the broad diversity and strength of the City’s cultural community, will be chaired by Agnes Gund.   

“New York City is home to a creative and vibrant cultural community that is second to none,” Mayor Bloomberg said.  “Thanks to the vast knowledge, vision, and talents of the members of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, the City will enhance its ability to assist the cultural community, particularly non-profit organizations.  These accomplished artists, administrators, and supporters will provide invaluable services and expertise to both large and small arts organizations, and vigorously promote the cultural vitality of New York City.”

“Culture is the ultimate as well as the ideal public-private partnership in New York City,” Commissioner Levin said.  “Having such a smart, thoughtful and accomplished group donating their time to assist the agency will be immensely beneficial in our efforts to promote and preserve the value of culture for all New Yorkers.”

“I am honored to serve the Mayor and the Department of Cultural Affairs in this capacity,” Agnes Gund said.  “There are a lot of challenges facing the cultural community at present, but there are also more opportunities than ever to effect lasting change in fostering collaborations between groups, attracting new audiences and new support, and helping school children to develop a life-long relationship with the arts.”

The members of the Commission were selected based on their ability to contribute to four key agenda areas: management and board development, arts education, marketing and outreach, and capital assistance.  As stated in the City Charter, the Commission must have no fewer than 15 and no more than 21 members who will serve on a staggered schedule.  The Commission’s members are:

Eddy Bayardelle, Charles C. Bergman, Laurie Blitzer, Daniel Brodsky, Amy Chin, Chuck Close, Vishakha N. Desai, Ph.D., Evangeline Douris, Robert Esnard, Dolores M. Fernandez, Ph.D., Alan H. Fishman, Susan K. Freedman, Agnes Gund, Michael Lynne, Raymond J. McGuire, Judith O. Rubin, David M. Sable, Robert Soros, Laurie Tisch Sussman, Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner and Allan Weissglass. 

In addition, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein, and Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris will serve as ex-officio members of the Commission.  The head of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), a position rotating among the directors of City-owned cultural organizations, and the head of one of the borough arts councils will also serve as ex-officio members.  For the coming year, Karen Brooks Hopkins, President of the Cultural Institutions Group, will represent the CIG, and Laura Jean Watters, Executive Director of the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, will represent the borough arts councils.

Biographical accounts of the members of the Commission follow:

Eddy Bayardelle
Eddy Bayardelle is the Director of Global Philanthropy at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and Secretary of the Merrill Lynch Foundation. Mr. Bayardelle is the former Superintendent of Hempstead Public Schools in Long Island and former Executive Director of the Division of Special Education for New York City Public Schools. Mr. Bayardelle is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Haitian Rights.  

Charles C. Bergman
Charles C. Bergman is Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. He has recently been appointed to the Overseers’ Committee to Visit the Harvard University Art Museums and was appointed by Governor Pataki to the New York State Council on the Arts. He also serves on the boards of organizations such as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Inc., and Creative Artists Network.

Laurie Blitzer
Laurie Blitzer is Executive Director of Non-Profit and External Affairs at McKinsey & Company.  Ms. Blitzer serves on several boards, including the UJC National Young Leadership Cabinet Educational Alliance, Vote for America, and Wexner Heritage Leadership Program.

Daniel Brodsky
Currently Managing Partner of the Brodsky Organization, Daniel Brodsky has been an active developer of residential and mixed-use real estate in Manhattan for over 30 years.  Mr. Brodsky serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he is President of the Real Estate Council. He is also on the Board of Directors of the New York City Ballet and the Municipal Art Society.

Amy Chin
Amy Chin is Executive Director of the New York Chinese Cultural Center and currently sits on several boards, including C.R.E.A.T.E. in Chinatown, DanceNYC, and Ping Chong & Company. Ms. Chin is also a traditional Chinese folk and classical dancer.

Chuck Close
Artist Chuck Close, who has been on the forefront of the contemporary art scene since the 1970s, is widely known for his large-scale portraits.  His artwork is found in the public collections of major museums around the world. Mr. Close currently sits on the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Vishakha N. Desai, Ph.D.
Vishakha N. Desai is the Senior Vice President of the Asia Society and the Director of Museum and Cultural Programs. Ms. Desai has taught and published extensively on traditional Indian art and on issues in contemporary Asian art. She serves on the boards of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Citizen’s Committee of New York City, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Evangeline Douris
Evangeline Douris co-founded the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee in 1972, which continues today as one of New York’s preeminent service organizations. Ms. Douris served as Director of its School for Welfare Education Program, which established a strong English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. She also served as the Special Assistant to the President of the former Board of Education.  In addition, Ms. Douris was Vice President of George Douris Associates from 1978-1998. 

Robert Esnard
As President of the Donald Zucker Company, Robert Esnard directs the day-to-day operations of the full service real estate and development company. He previously served as Deputy Mayor for Policy & Physical Development, Commissioner of Buildings, Deputy Borough President of the Bronx, and Director of the Bronx office of the Department of City Planning. Mr. Esnard is a member of the boards of the New York Botanical Garden and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Dolores M. Fernandez, Ph.D.
Dolores M. Fernandez is currently the President of Hostos Community College at the City University of New York. She previously served as Deputy Chancellor for Instruction and Development on the former Board of Education and Deputy Director for Program Services at the New York State Division of Youth. She has taught in the public school system and at the university level.  Dr. Fernandez serves on the boards of the Bronx YMCA and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

Alan H. Fishman
Alan H. Fishman was elected Chief Executive Officer of the Independence Community Bank in 2001. He serves on the Board of Directors of KeySpan Corporation, where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee, and Independence Community Bank Corp. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Susan K. Freedman
Susan K. Freedman is President of the Public Art Fund, a non-profit arts organization presenting art in public spaces.  She serves on the boards of the Municipal Art Society, the Eldridge Street Project, WNYC Radio, and the City Parks Foundation.

Agnes Gund
Agnes Gund is President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).  Ms. Gund has been a Trustee of MoMA since 1976 and served as President from 1991-2002.  A vocal advocate for arts education, Ms. Gund founded Studio in a School, a non-profit organization that places professional artists as teachers in New York City public schools.  Ms. Gund has affiliations with a number of nonprofit arts institutions, including the Wexner Center for the Arts, the American Academy in Rome, the Romare Bearden Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Karen Brooks Hopkins (ex-officio)
Karen Hopkins is President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and currently the Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group.  Ms. Hopkins is an active member of the Performing Arts Centers Consortium and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Salzburg Seminar-Alberto Vilar Project of Critical Issues for the Classical Performing Arts.

Michael Lynne
Michael Lynne is Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of New Line Cinema Corporation. Mr. Lynne is a member of the boards of the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of the Moving Image, and the Drawing Center.

Raymond J. McGuire
Raymond J. McGuire is currently a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group based in New York.  Mr. McGuire is Chairman of the Board of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Other board affiliations include International Center of Photography and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Judith O. Rubin
Judith O. Rubin is Chairman of the Board of Playwrights Horizons.  Ms. Rubin is the former President and Chairman of the 92nd Street Y and was Commissioner for Protocol for the City of New York during the Dinkins Administration. She serves on the boards of the Theatre Communications Group and Public Radio International and is a member of the New York State Council on the Arts and the Tony Awards Nominating Committee.

David M. Sable
In 2000, David M. Sable was appointed President & CEO of Wunderman New York. Mr. Sable was a founding partner and CEO of Genesis Direct, and serves as marketing adviser to a number of charitable organizations and universities. He is on the board of two prominent New York City private schools, and is a member of the United States Postal Service Marketing Advisory Board and CEO Council.

Robert Soros
Robert Soros is Deputy Chairman of Soros Fund Management, LLC. Mr. Soros is a member of the Board of Directors of NorthStar Capital Investment Corp., Stratum Realty Fund, and Wang Healthcare Information Systems, Inc. He serves as Chairman of the non-profit performing arts organization The Kitchen.

Laurie Tisch Sussman
Laurie Tisch Sussman is Chairperson of The Center for Arts Education and President of the Laurie Tisch Sussman Foundation. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art and is Honorary Chairperson of the Board at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.  Ms. Sussman is also a member of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner
Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner is Vice Chair Emerita of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. She is a board member of the Economic Club of New York, Harvard Business School, the Annette Green Museum at The Fragrance Foundation, and PENCIL.

Laura Jean Watters (ex-officio)
Laura Jean Watters is the Executive Director of the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, a non-profit organization that provides extensive services to the Staten Island arts community, including technical assistance, re-grant programs, and a visitor information center.

Allan Weissglass
Allan Weissglass is Chairman of Magruder Color Company, Inc., and serves on the New Jersey Advisory Board of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and the Board of Directors of Staten Island Bancorp. Mr. Weissglass is active in many community organizations and cultural institutions, including Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Jewish Community Center Association of North America.



Contact: Edward Skyler / Jerry Russo 
(212) 788-2958
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