New 42nd Street Appoints Russell Granet to Post as President & CEO
The New 42nd Street has named Russell Granet as its new President & CEO, the organization announced today.
An internationally known leader in arts education, Mr. Granet most recently served as Acting President of Lincoln Center, where he was the longtime head of education and community engagement. He has dedicated his over 30-year career to the principles of equity, inclusion, and opening access to the arts for all. Mr. Granet will join The New 42nd Street in early July.
"New York City is a place where everyone belongs-that's in no small part because of Cora Cahan's stewardship of 42nd Street and her transformation of this neighborhood at the crossroads of the world," said Fiona Rudin, Chair of the Board of New 42nd Street. "Now, we look to Russell Granet to put a spotlight on what our organization has achieved, elevating diverse voices in the arts, inspiring kids and creating lifelong arts lovers and citizens for whom anything is possible. Under Russell's leadership, we know that New 42nd Street will be a space where young people don't just feel welcome, but actively belong."
"I am honored to take on the mantle of such a transformative leader as Cora Cahan as the head of New 42nd Street," said Russell Granet, incoming President & CEO of New 42nd Street. "While New York's streetscape has flourished, inequality has grown, especially among children. I'm committed to build on Cora's legacy to ensure that every child living in or visiting our great city has equal access to the transformative power of theater; it is important that young people see themselves accurately represented in the arts. It is that personal engagement that unlocks unlimited possibilities."
"We launched The New 42nd Street with The New Victory, a theater for families, intrinsically linking arts education with presentations from around the world to bring kids to the arts and the arts to kids," said Cora Cahan, Founding President & CEO of New 42nd Street. "I know Russell's scope of experience, commitment and significant contributions to the arts and arts education, and I am confident that he will advance the New 42nd Street's mission to make extraordinary performing arts a part of everyone's life. I also know that the smart, talented and dedicated staff, with whom I have been fortunate to work for 29 years, will share and support his aspirations for the organization going forward."
The New 42nd Street is best known for reinventing 42nd Street by restoring a neglected stretch of historic theaters in the heart of Times Square and transforming the area into the thriving cultural hub and iconic, family-friendly destination it is today.
In his new leadership role, Mr. Granet will build on New 42nd Street's mission to catalyze the power of the arts to open a world of possibilities for all, as the organization moves on from its original charge of urban redevelopment and enters a new chapter focused on equity and access to the arts.
As Acting President of Lincoln Center, Mr. Granet took over at a critical time in Lincoln Center's history. He worked closely with the staff and Board to balance the budget over a three-month period and presided over the most successful summer season in recent history in both education and artistic programming.
He is widely credited with reinventing education and community engagement at Lincoln Center, tripling the educational programming and budget and driving an increased focus on underserved young audiences that included implementing a citywide arts education initiative for high-needs middle schools.
During his tenure, Mr. Granet commissioned the first theatrical production for children on the autism spectrum, Up and Away and produced the internationally acclaimed Big Umbrella Festival, a first-of-its-kind festival bringing together artists and arts professionals working with children and young adults with autism.
In partnership with New York City's Department of Education, he developed the Arts Audition Boot Camp to help middle schoolers from low-income communities prepare for the high-pressure admissions process at competitive arts high schools. Last summer, the camp placed 100% of the 250 young participants from Title 1 schools in an arts high school of their choice.
Mr. Granet has consulted extensively across the globe with leading cultural institutions and served on faculty of the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University for twenty years, where he developed and taught the course Drama with Special Populations.
As New 42nd Street's President & CEO, Mr. Granet will leverage its spot at the crossroads of the world to embrace a multicultural, pluralistic and accessible vision of the arts and theater, opening new worlds to audiences regardless of background, ability or age and creating spaces where young people of diverse backgrounds aren't just welcome, but actively belong.
Mr. Granet will spearhead The New Victory's first foray into original production with Where the Wild Things Are, with Senior Director of Artistic Programming Mary Rose Lloyd. He envisions creating new opportunities for underrepresented artists to develop work at New 42nd Street Studios and to produce original work for pre-school and school age audiences, and plans to forge partnerships with borough-based arts organizations that reach kids in their neighborhoods. A new focus on directed fundraising will help set the organization on track for long-term financial success.
Leaders of arts and philanthropy praised the appointment of Mr. Granet as the head of New 42nd Street:
"Russell Granet is an extraordinary leader. His multifaceted service at Lincoln Center was superb. He will bring exceptional energy, creativity and operational excellence to this new assignment. New Yorkers and tourists will benefit from the entirety of his tenure. Of that, I am certain," commented Reynold Levy, President of Lincoln Center from March 2002 to February 2014.
"Russell has been an esteemed colleague and dear friend for over twenty years - in that time he has shown himself to be an exemplary leader and a passionate defender of equity in the arts. The New 42nd Street is lucky to have a steward in Russell who will not only help the organization thrive, but open doors for the families they serve," said Laurie Tisch, President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund to increase access and opportunity for New Yorkers.
"Russell is and has always been focused on the diversity of the city, and knows the importance of all young people having access to high quality art," said Carmen Fariña, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2014 to 2018. "He has the ability to work seamlessly and partner successfully with educators, students, parents and artists, and I know that New 42 will flourish under his leadership."
Through its theaters and rehearsal spaces, New 42nd Street breaks down barriers to high-quality performing arts for young audiences and provides space for emerging artists to flourish.
The New Victory Theater, New York's premier non-profit theater for kids and families, offers world-class performances from International Artists at affordable prices, opening up the arts to 40,000 public schoolchildren each year with ticket prices just $2.00 or less.
The Duke on 42nd Street, a state-of-the-art black-box theater, serves as a launching pad for new productions.
The New 42nd Street Studios, dubbed "Broadway's secret laboratory," gives artists affordable, inspiring spaces to incubate new ideas and create their best work. Since the founding of New 42nd Street Studios in 2000, over 1,500 production have been rehearsed in the ten-story, 14-studio venue, including Hamilton, Frozen and shows by countless non-profit theater and dance companies.
About New 42nd Street: New 42nd Street is a nonprofit organization that catalyzes the power of performing arts to spark new perspectives, incubate new works and create new opportunities for us all. Through our signature projects --The New Victory Theater, New 42nd Street Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street -- New 42nd Street makes extraordinary performing arts a vital part of everyone's life - from the earliest years onward. The organization also stewards seven historic theater properties on 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, ensuring the legacy and vitality of America's most iconic theater district. Together with our supporters, we are opening access to performing arts that move us - as individuals, communities and a society.