The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Sara Reisman to the position of Artistic Director.
As Artistic Director, Sara Reisman will work with the Foundation’s Executive Director, Alexander Gardner, to enhance and implement the Foundation’s new initiative Art and Social Justice, which aims at broadening artistic and cultural access in New York City in order to promote more cohesive and resilient communities, and greater participation in civic life.
Reisman will oversee the realization of Art and Social Justice across two intersecting categories: programming and grantmaking. As well as managing the Foundation’s annual programming budget, she will curate a program of exhibitions and events for The 8th Floor, an interdisciplinary space established in 2010 by the Rubin family, dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, culture and philanthropy through public engagement.
Reisman will work with the Foundation on a grantmaking strategy designed to support art in all areas of civic life: arts education, public art, art in community and service centers, artistic activism, and community-based museums. This will involve assessing opportunities for Foundation activity with arts and cultural organizations that catalyze collective action, promote equity, contribute to advocacy and policy change, and develop capacity for greater civic engagement through public programs focused on art and culture, as well as non-arts-related programs that seek to engage through cultural activities.
On March 6, 2015, Reisman opened Mobility and Its Discontents, the first of a series of exhibitions at The 8th Floor in 2015.The exhibition features works by Jane Benson, Alberto Borea, Ángel Delgado, Javier Téllez, Lan Tuazon and Jorge Wellesley, examines the boundaries of mobility-physical, psychological, socio-economic, geographic and political. Later this spring, Mobility and Its Discontents will be accompanied by a series of public programs, reflecting the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation’s commitment to artistic and cultural accessibility in New York City.
Prior to her appointment as Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Sara Reisman was the Director of New York City’s Percent for Art program, at the Department of Cultural Affairs, from 2008 to 2014, where she managed more than 100 public and civic commissions across the five boroughs. From 2008 to 2009, Reisman was Curatorial Consultant for Public Art in support of the Queens Museum of Art’s community development initiative in Corona, Queens, and has curated exhibitions for the Queens Museum of Art, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Cooper Union School of Art, the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, Momenta Art, Smack Mellon and LaMaMa Galleria, among other venues. She has extensive experience in education, having served as Associate Dean of the School of Art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 2008 to 2009. From 2006-2008, she was the Program Director of the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York.
Alexander Gardner, Executive Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, says: “Sara brings over 18 years experience to her role as Artistic Director, with a particular passion for curating exhibitions and expertise in public art. We are excited to work with her to reinforce and expand the Foundation’s commitment to fostering public engagement with, and access to, arts and culture.”
According to Reisman, “The arts are a vital part of New York public life and the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation has demonstrated a serious commitment and contribution to New Yorkers’ cultural access and enrichment. I am delighted to be working with the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in this new role to further its Art and Social Justice mission of increasing diversity, funding and available public arts programming in New York City.”