the new school's vera list center for art and politics welcomes five new board members and Names two new vice chairs

Esteemed artists, scholars, curators, and legal experts join a vibrant advisory board

NEW YORK, February 20, 2024 – Today the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School announced the appointment of five new advisory board members: Daniel AltabefDr. Suzanne KiteLouise NeriSadaf Padder, and Ellen Taubman. They join the center this spring for an exciting, recently announced roster of programs, screenings, convenings, and publications, closing out the center’s current two-year research cycle Correction*. The center—which recently received new grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Terra Foundation for American Art—last added new board members in January 2020.

The appointments followed a year-long effort led by the center’s nominating committee—comprising board chair JK Brown and vice chairs Megan Noh and Norman Kleeblatt, as well as board members Frances F. L. Beatty, Linda Earle, Jane Lombard, Alan Michelson, and Keith Obadike—to identify and recruit new volunteer leadership who would represent the center’s diverse constituencies and provide mission-aligned and values-based strategic guidance and support for the center’s staff as they pursue bold and timely goals over the next several years.

“The fields of art and politics are facing urgent and often polarizing challenges,” said JK Brown, chair of the Vera List Center board. “Given our strong commitment to serving both politically engaged artists and diverse publics here in New York, nationally, and internationally, it is essential that our board continue to bring nuanced perspectives and expertise to our essential work. Danny, Suzanne, Louise, Sadaf, and Ellen share our values and a commitment to our mission, and each brings a unique lens to our work. We are grateful for their service.”  

Carin Kuoni, the Vera List Center’s senior director and chief curator, added: “It’s such a sign of hopefulness and forward-looking energy to have this distinguished group of experts join us. I am deeply honored to welcome them to our organization. I’m also grateful to the executive and nominating committees, especially our chair JK Brown, for their leadership throughout this process. Together, the board and staff look to the center’s future with great excitement and optimism. These are trying times, and we’re ready to tackle them.”

Distinguished Leaders with Diverse Expertise

The new members are each accomplished leaders in their respective fields: Daniel Altabef, an attorney serving as director, chief compliance officer, and counsel at the global asset management firm Brigade Capital Management; Dr. Suzanne Kite, an Oglála Lakȟóta artist, composer, and academic serving as director of Wihanble S’a Lab at Bard College, where she is also a distinguished-artist-in-residence in the studio arts program and assistant professor of American and Indigenous Studies; Louise Neri, the founder and artistic director of Extraterritorial Inc., a new platform for curatorial, editorial and strategic counsel across the arts, who has previously held key executive and artistic roles in leading arts organizations as well as major exhibitions and festivals; Sadaf Padder, a Brooklyn-based curator, community organizer, and creative advisor and the founder of Alpha Arts Alliance; and Ellen Taubman, an art historian, curator, collector, and philanthropist with a particular interest in Indigenous art. 

Executive Committee Expands with New Vice Chairs

Additionally, the center announced the appointment of two long-serving board members to the roles of vice chair: Linda Earle, professor emerita of practice in arts management/art history at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University and Alan Michelson, an artist, curator, writer, lecturer and Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. Earle and Michelson were both appointed to the center’s board in 2020. They join fellow vice chair Megan Noh, a partner and co-chair of the Art Law Group at Pryor Cashman, and chair JK Brown, New Museum president and veteran financial services leader, in forming the board’s executive committee.

The five new board members round out an already exceptional group of long-serving members. In addition to executive committee members Brown, Earle, Michelson, and Noh, they are Ujju Aggarwal, a professor of anthropology and experiential learning at The New School; dealer and art historian Frances F. L. Beatty, who is also the Managing Director of the Ray Johnson Estate; Marilyn Greene, a New School alumna and retired arts professional; Susan Hapgood, the executive director of the International Studio and Curatorial Program and an alumna of the Vera List Center Fellowship Program; Norman Kleeblatt, an independent writer and curator; gallerist Jane Lombard; Aryana Ghazi Hessami, a New School PhD candidate in anthropology; the Vera List Center’s chief curator and senior director Carin Kuoni, who also serves as an assistant professor of visual studies at The New School; documentary photographer and Mangum Foundation president Susan Meiselas; artists Mendi and Keith Obadike, who both serve as faculty at Cornell University; independent fine arts advisor Nancy Delman Portnoy; curator Silvia Rocciolo, who currently serves as an advisor to The New School Art Collection and project director of a preservation grant from the Mellon Foundation focused on the university’s historic Orozco Mural Cycle; and Mary Watson, executive dean of the Schools of Public Engagement at The New School.

About Vera List Center for Art and Politics
The Vera List Center for Art and Politics is a research center and a public forum for art, culture, and politics. It was established at The New School in 1992—a time of rousing debates about freedom of speech, identity politics, and society’s investment in the arts. A leader in the field, the center is a nonprofit that serves a critical mission: to foster a vibrant and diverse community of artists, scholars, and policymakers who take creative, intellectual, and political risks to bring about positive change.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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