Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel as Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, where she currently serves as Vice Chair.
“Barbaralee has dedicated her career to preserving and enriching cultural life across the state and across the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. “She is a leader whose knowledge, wide experience and energy will help shape our vision for cultural development and advance the future of the arts in New York.”
“It is a privilege and an honor to serve as Chair of NYSCA,” said Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. “The arts are integral to enhancing New York’s environment and values. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to move forward as we build on our past, and continue to develop all of the arts statewide.”
Throughout her career, Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel has served as a leading voice on civic and cultural engagement, having demonstrated a strong commitment to the arts, architecture, design, and public policy across New York City, New York State, and the country.
A former White House staff assistant, in 1966, she became the first Director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She later served as the longest-term Commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1972 until 1987, and from 1987 to 1995, served as Chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Foundation. She has served as a member of the New York City Art Commission (now the Public Design Commission) and the New York City Commission of Cultural Affairs for more than a decade.
In 1987, she was appointed by President Reagan to the Board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and in 1996 was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, where she later became the first woman to be elected as Vice Chair. In 2009, President Obama appointed her to the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel has served on the boards of a variety of educational, visual, literary, and performing arts institutions, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Visiting Committee for Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Collection Committee of the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum; the PEN American Center; the New York State Historic Archives Partnership Trust; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She is the founder and chair of the New York City Landmarks50 Alliance, and a founding member of the Highline, New York City, the Trust for the National Mall and the Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel is the author of 23 books and the curator of eight international museum exhibitions. She earned her doctorate with high honors from New York University, and received honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Longwood University, and the Pratt Institute.
The New York State Council on the Arts is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens. The Council believes in supporting artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure, the rights of all New Yorkers to access and experience the power of the arts and culture, and the vital contribution the arts make to the quality of life in New York communities. NYSCA, serving all 62 counties, strives to achieve its mission through its core grant-making activity and by convening field leaders, providing information and advisory support, and working with partners on special initiatives to achieve mutual goals.