The New 42nd Street — the nonprofit organization behind the New Victory Theater, the New 42nd Street Studios and the Duke — has named Russell Granet as its new president and chief executive officer.
Until May, Mr. Granet was the acting president of Lincoln Center, where he had run the education and community engagement division and served in other leadership roles. He will start at the New 42nd Street in July. “I couldn’t imagine a better position or a better place to work,” Mr. Granet said in an interview.
Mr. Granet will follow on the heels of the organization’s longtime leader Cora Cahan, who is stepping down after about 29 years. Under her tenure, in the 1990s, the organization spearheaded the restoration of seven historic theaters on 42nd Street and helped to transform the street into a cultural hub. The New 42nd Street also opened three spaces in the area: the family theater the New Victory, which offers shows for children at prices sometimes as low as $2; the New 42nd Street Studios, which gives emerging artists a much-sought-after rehearsal site to create new work; and the Duke, a black-box theater available for rental.
Mr. Granet said that as leader of the New 42nd Street, he’ll focus on commissioning new work. He said he will prioritize offering the New 42nd Street Studios as an incubator space for projects by emerging artists and using the Duke to stage those works.
He also said that one of his major focuses will be on increasing access to offerings, with children in mind. “I’ve always believed that arts are a civil right and that begins at birth,” Mr. Granet said. “How do you work with families and children who don’t see it as for them?” He said he hopes to partner with organizations in other boroughs and to ensure that offerings are geared toward children who have different levels of exposure to the arts.
“I think a field trip can really change a person’s life,” Mr. Granet said, adding that his own daughter saw her first staged performance at the New Victory. It was a show called “White” that featured puppets, when she was about 3 years old. “It hooked her,” he said.
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