Tom Finkelpearl

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Tom Finkelpearl
Born1956 (age 62–63)[1]
EducationPrinceton BA 1979
Hunter MFA 1983
Alma materPhillips Academy 1974
OccupationNYC Dept. Cultural Affairs
EmployerCity of New York

Tom Finkelpearl is an American arts promoter and former museum director who serves as commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.[3] He was appointed in 2014 by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.[3] As commissioner, he oversees city funding of nonprofit arts organizations, and is leading an effort to promote cultural diversity in arts programs citywide.[2][4] His department is in charge of a $156 million budget.[1] His approach to arts has been described as populist[5] and he sees art and artists as making a valuable contribution to the overall economic health of the city.[6] In July 2017, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Finkelpearl announced the launch of CreateNYC, a 10-year cultural plan to increase access to arts and culture programming in all five boroughs and help make New York's cultural institutions more reflective of the city’s multiethnic, multicultural population.[7] He is working with city authorities on efforts to provide affordable housing for artists living in the city.[8] He said "every corner of this city needs to have art."[9] He introduced a program to offer free access to member institutions using a municipal identification card.[4] Finkelpearl served for 12 years as director of the Queens Museum from 2002 to 2014.[2] While serving as director, he hired community organizers to emphasize the diversity of the immigrant population.[1] He presided over the museum's $68 million renovation effort.[1] He doubled the size of the Queens Museum and saw its budget grow from $2.3 million to $4.9 million.[5] He served under mayor David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani by running the city's Percent for Art program.[5] He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1974, from Princeton University in 1979 and from Hunter College (MFA) in 1983.


  1. ^ a b c d ROBIN POGREBIN, APRIL 6, 2014, New York Times, Museum Director to Be Commissioner of Cultural Affairs: Mayor de Blasio Names Tom Finkelpearl of the Queens Museum, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Tom Finkelpearl,...named the cultural affairs commissioner ...12 years at the Queens Museum, ... 58, has hired community organizers to professionalize outreach efforts ...Tom believes that art is for everybody..."
  2. ^ a b c Brian Boucher, January 5, 2015, Artnet News, Tom Finkelpearl Wants To Diversify Leadership at New York's Culture Hubs, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Tom Finkelpearl, head of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), is undertaking to make the leadership and staff of Gotham's cultural institutions less lily-white..."
  3. ^ a b Amanda L Gordon, June 10, 2015, Bloomberg News, Scene Last Night: Rosenstein, Pruzan, Sting, Utay, Jenny Holzer, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Shakespeare...” said Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of cultural affairs in New York...."
  4. ^ a b Sarah Cascone, April 29, 2015, Artnet News, New York City Makes the Arts a Priority with New Cultural Plan, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Since his appointment last year, Finkelpearl has introduced a municipal ID card that offers free membership to Cultural Institutions Group member institutions (see Get Free Museum Tickets with New York City's New ID Card) and begun a diversity initiative at the city's cultural institutions (see Tom Finkelpearl Wants To Diversify Leadership at New York's Culture Hubs)...."
  5. ^ a b c JENNIFER MALONEY, April 6, 2014, Wall Street Journal, De Blasio Taps New Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, the Executive Director of the Queens Museum, To Be the City's Next Cultural-Affairs Commissioner, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Mr. Finkelpearl, now 58 years old, served under Mayor David Dinkins and Mayor Rudy Giuliani as director of New York City's Percent for Art program,... Queens Museum of Art, ...oversaw a $68 million renovation and rebranding, ... doubling its physical footprint....budget has grown to $4.9 million from $2.3 million. ..."
  6. ^ Benjamin Sutton, September 17, 2014, Artnet News, Tom Finkelpearl Promises to Make New York Livable for Artists, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Tom Finkelpearl, ...commissioner of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), believes artists can save the city. ...CultureAID, ...more expansive vision for arts funding ... Municipal ID Card, ..."
  7. ^ Gerard, Jeremy; Gerard, Jeremy (2017-07-19). "NYC Unveils 'CreateNYC' 10-Year Plan To Expand And Diversify Arts & Culture". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  8. ^ Sarah Cascone, February 3, 2015, Artnet News,Mayor Bill de Blasio Pledges To Create 1,500 Cheap Houses for Artists, Retrieved July 2, 2015, "..."We just can't allow artists to be priced out of New York City," Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the department of cultural affairs, told WNYC. "They're important for the soul of the city, they're important for neighborhoods, they're really important for the economy."..."
  9. ^ ANNIE KARNI, April 8, 2014, New York Daily News, Mayor de Blasio's newly appointed cultural affairs commissioner vows to bring art to every neighborhood: Tom Finkelpearl, who has served as president and executive director of the Queens Museum for the past 12 years, said that 'every corner of this city needs to have art.', Retrieved July 2, 2015, "...Mayor de Blasio’s newly appointed cultural affairs commissioner vowed Monday to expand cultural institutions to every neighborhood in the city...."

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