NYCxDESIGN Appoints Elissa Black as Executive Director

NYCxDESIGN announced today that Elissa Black will serve as the organization's Executive Director, bringing more than 15 years of experience working in the city's cultural and design landscape. Previously, Black held leadership roles at Van Alen Institute and the Guggenheim Museum where she heralded in collaborations between the public and private sphere and brought to life dynamic cultural programming in New York and cities around the globe. 

“When you bring design disciplines together, radically listen and enable collaborations across the spectrum, collective design-thinking can remake, reimagine, and positively impact the seemingly most intractable of societal issues. Together we can address issues that range from community resilience and recovery, to social justice and racial equity, to climate change and equitable public space, to access and inclusivity,” says Black. “NYCxDESIGN is perfectly poised to harness and promote the collective power of New York City’s design community. In this period of rebuilding, my focus as Executive Director will be on creating new and expanded opportunities for design in the city at large, and for the local communities we serve through this spirit of unity and cooperation.”

As NYCxDESIGN gears up for its robust schedule of spring events, including Interior Design's NYCxDESIGN Awards, Black will work closely with the organization's leadership team and Board of Directors on programming and new initiatives, furthering goals to amplify underrepresented voices in the industry and revive the vitality of the city's design scene

“I’m energized by this opportunity to work with Elissa, who brings such valuable experience from notable New York City creative institutions. Her community-driven career and collaborative approach will lead to meaningful growth for NYCxDESIGN across programming, operations, and strategic revenue models to ultimately expand NYCxDESIGN’s opportunities to support the design community,” says Valerie Hoffman, program director, who has been with the organization since 2017. “Activations that educate and inspire, spotlight New York talent internationally, create increased and equitable access, and inspire positive change are all efforts that I look forward to continuing to pursue with Elissa’s expertise at the helm.”

Black is a graduate of the Teachers College, Columbia University Master’s program in arts management and was previously an Adjunct Professor in that program teaching fundraising and organizational sustainability. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctor from the University of Sydney, Australia. 

Read Next: Meet the Jury for the 2021 NYCxDESIGN Awards 

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