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Larissa Harris. Photo: Douglas Ross.

Larissa Harris Appointed First Director of Teiger Foundation

Teiger Foundation has named Larissa Harris its first executive director. In her new role, Harris will be charged with expanding the grantmaking initiative of the nonprofit, which was established in 2008 to promote the vision of contemporary art collector David Teiger, who died in 2014. Additionally, she will work to further the philanthropic foundation’s mission in support of new scholarship, interpretation, and exhibition development in the field of contemporary art, and oversee the establishment of a permanent home for the organization in New York City.

Harris, who has more than two decades of curatorial experience, comes to Teiger Foundation from the Queens Museum, New York, where she has worked as a curator since 2009. Prior to working at the Queens Museum, she was associate director at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT from 2004 through 2008; before that, she was an associate editor at Artforum and a curator and project manager at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), New York. She will step into the position of director on January 4, 2021.

“Larissa has served as an advocate and mentor for cultural producers throughout her career and understands the perspectives and needs of practitioners in the contemporary art world. These qualities collectively make her the ideal candidate to lead Teiger Foundation in its next stage of growing its philanthropic and programmatic initiatives, spearheading new modes of support, collaboration, and empowerment in the arts. We could not be more thrilled to have her join us as our first executive director,” said Joel Wachs, president of Teiger Foundation’s board, in a statement.

“I am honored to have been selected as the inaugural executive director of Teiger Foundation and to begin working alongside the board to advance David Teiger’s legacy of support for extraordinary exhibitions and artists,” acknowledged Harris. “I look forward to expanding the impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking programs throughout the visual art ecosystem, whose future is taking root today. One of my goals at the foundation is to help identify, realize and amplify the work of a wide range of cultural practitioners, who are rigorously exploring crucial subjects and engaging audiences in urgent conversations, and to support them in bringing these profound ideas to life during this period of historic change.”

Earlier this year, Teiger Foundation was one of several of several New York–area arts foundations that banded together to launch a $1.25 million relief fund for arts workers affected by the continuing Covid-19 crisis.

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