News & Stories

Creative Capital Welcomes New Board Leadership in 2010

January 11, 2010

_Pioneering national arts organization elects Baltimore-native Suzi Cordish as Board Chair, welcomes new board members Deborah Rappaport, Peter Gelles and Eve Steele_ January 11, 2010, New York—Creative Capital, the national nonprofit organization providing integrated funding and counsel to innovative artists, today announced the appointment of Suzi Cordish as chair of the Board of Directors. Cordish takes over as Catharine Stimpson, Dean of the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Science, comes to the end of her second consecutive three-year term. Under Stimpson’s leadership, Creative Capital grew its programs and services in support of 406 artists and 325 projects, committing more than $20 million to individual artists in its first decade. Stimpson will remain on the board, where she will assume the role of co-chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee. “Kate’s stellar leadership and influential voice have been an invaluable asset to Creative Capital. She helped to grow the organization from its beginnings as a visionary up-start to one of the most dynamic organizations working with individual artists today. We look forward to her continued support as the organization embarks on its next 10 years,” said Creative Capital President and CEO Ruby Lerner. The organization launches its second decade with plans to expand and enhance programming and services in support of the nation’s diverse community of artists. In 2010, Creative Capital and its artists will be the subject of a retrospective event at MoMA, with Creative Capital projects premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Soho Rep, SITE Santa Fe, among others. As the organization continues to strengthen its role in the creative community, its pioneering model of support will be the focus of a forthcoming Harvard Business School case study. A Baltimore native, Cordish has 25 years of experience building alliances in support of arts initiatives and emerging artists. Since joining the Creative Capital Board of Directors in 2007, Cordish has been an ardent supporter of the organization. She assumes the role of Board Chair poised to further the organization’s great impact on the cultural community and expand its vital support. “I am thrilled to take on this role as we look to the next ten years of supporting the nation’s most adventurous artists. We are poised to meet the challenges ahead and are energized by the promise of our mission,” Cordish said. From 1991 to 2009, Cordish served as President and Board Chair of the Maryland Art Place, where she was instrumental in relocating MAP to its new home in downtown Baltimore. Cordish has been appointed to serve on the Governor’s Commission on the Future of the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council, where she helped draft legislation that successfully passed a state bill to fund public art. She has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Maryland Institute College of Art, has been active on the board of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Foundation, and is the founder of the Arts Group in Baltimore. In addition to Cordish’s appointment, founding board member Ron Feldman will become Secretary of the Board of Directors. Feldman takes on the position as Lewis Hyde, a founding board member, MacArthur Fellow, and noted author, comes to the end of his two, three-year term limit. Feldman is Co-Director and Founder of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, and serves on the board of People for the American Way, Exit Art, the Research Center for Arts and Culture at Columbia University, and the Art Dealers Association of America. In 1993, President Clinton appointed Feldman to the National Council on the Arts, where he served for five years. Also in 2010, Lyda Kuth will enter her second term as Board Treasurer. Kuth is the current director and a founding board member of the LEF Foundation, a private foundation that supports the creation and presentation of new work in the contemporary arts. In addition to her philanthropic commitments, Kuth is an independent film producer and has won numerous awards recognizing her work, including the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s prestigious Commonwealth Award and the Image Award for Vision and Excellence from Women in Film and Video New England. New Board Members Creative Capital’s Board of Directors is made up of the boldest minds from all fields, including working artists, representatives from academia, the film industry and the venture capital sector, as well as business entrepreneurs and visionary philanthropists. As Cordish assumes leadership, the organization also welcomes new board members from the West Coast and the Southeast, further expanding the board’s national reach. Deborah Rappaport and Peter Gelles and Eve Steele joined the Board of Directors in November 2009. Deborah Rappaport is the President of the Rappaport Family Foundation (RFF), which she administers with her husband, Andy. RFF focuses its grant making on increasing civic engagement through social and cultural outreach, and to increasing economic opportunities for and fairness toward disenfranchised citizens. Rappaport is also CEO of Skyline Public Works (SPW), LLC a civic incubator established in 2003 to further innovation in cultural and political activism. SPW helped start or provided significant funding and organizational support to most of the independent progressive youth-vote focused efforts in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections. Rappaport serves on the boards of People for the American Way, Creative Capital, ProgressNow, and the Bolinas (CA) Museum. She lives in Northern California. Peter Gelles is a U.K.-born and educated international business and real estate attorney. Eve Steele is an industrial designer, architect and real estate developer. They are married and residents of Los Angeles. Gelles serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and is a Board member of the Ojai Music Festival. Professionally, Gelles is Chair of InterCounsel, a network of independent international law firms, has served as Chair of the California State Bar's International Law Section and L.A. County Bar's Real Property Section, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers (So. California and Corporate Counsel editions) and Martindale Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Steele is the founding Chair of LAXART and a Board member of REDCAT and UCLA Live. Steele recently worked closely with MacArthur Prize winning artist Mark Bradford on the design and installation of his ark project for Prospect.1 New Orleans, and also designed his new L.A. studio. In addition to their Board memberships, Gelles and Steele are supporters of LA Opera; LAXART; the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Ojai Music Festival; REDCAT; UCLA Live; and other arts and nonprofit organizations. Organizational Leadership Creative Capital has also undergone organizational changes to maximize impact and reach in its second decade, including the reorganization of its External Affairs department and the creation of a new initiative for artist programs. Sean Elwood, former Director of Artist Services, was promoted to the Director of Artist Programs following nine years at the organization. He will lead the research and development of new initiatives to support individual artists. Kemi Ilesanmi, former Associate Director of Grants and Services, was named Director of Grants and Services. About Creative Capital Creative Capital is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing innovative and adventurous projects in five disciplines: Emerging Fields, Film/Video, Innovative Literature, and Performing and Visual Arts. Working in long-term partnership with artists, Creative Capital’s pioneering approach to support combines funding, counsel, and career development services to enable a project’s success and foster a successful and sustainable practice for its grantees. In its first decade, Creative Capital has committed more than $20 million in financial and advisory support to 325 projects representing 406 artists, and has reached an additional 2,700 artists through its Professional Development Program. For more information, visit For further information and images, please contact: Sophie Henderson [email protected] 212-598-9900 x229

Download News Item

Back to Listing