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Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Announces Appointment of Gonzalo Casals as Director

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Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Announces Appointment of Gonzalo Casals as Director

 


Gonzalo


Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Announces Appointment of Gonzalo Casals as Director

January 25, 2017 (New York, NY) – The Board of Trustees of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is pleased to announce the appointment of Gonzalo Casals as the next Director of the Museum. Casals, who most recently served as Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement at Friends of the High Line, will start at the Museum on March 6, 2017, the same week that Leslie-Lohman will re-open its doors after doubling the size of its exhibition space.

Over the last decade, Casals has explored cultural production as a vehicle to foster empowerment, social capital, civic participation and community development. Through his most recent work at El Museo del Barrio and Friends of the High Line, he exemplifies a generation of cultural workers that are redefining the civic role of cultural organizations and their relationship with communities, neighborhoods and cities.

“I am very excited to lead the board and staff in this new chapter in the history of the Museum,” said Casals. “When I first arrived to New York City, its rich and diverse cultural landscape helped me make sense of my life as a queer Latino immigrant and connected me to networks of like-minded people. Now more than ever, culturallyspecific museums like Leslie-Lohman take on a renewed sense of relevancy. It is an honor to be at the helm of this important institution and, in following the steps of its cofounders, continue to reclaim scholarship from a queer perspective, provide a platform for queer artists and professionals, and become a cultural hub for LGBTQ people and its communities.”

Casals was identified through a rigorous national and international process overseen by a search committee comprised of Museum trustees, with the support of executive search firm Gumbs + Partners.

“After a long, thorough process looking for the right fit, we unanimously chose Gonzalo Casals to be Director of Leslie-Lohman,” said Cynthia Powell, President of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “Gonzalo’s diverse leadership experience, vision, his roots in the culture of NYC and his magnetic charisma have all of us at the Museum looking forward to working with him at this important time.”

Casals has supported the work of hundreds of artists, performers, poets and filmmakers, creating unique programs as platforms for queer artists and artists of color to engage diverse audiences. A seasoned arts administrator and cultural producer, Casals has a successful history in the cultural landscape of the city. During his three-year tenure as Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement at Friends of the High Line, Casals worked with the executive team to realize a vision for the park as a welcoming and equitable public space, considerably increasing the attendance to programming and reaching new local audiences. As former Deputy Executive Director at El Museo del Barrio, he developed a reputation for his passionate commitment to culturally specific museums, creating innovative programming that dramatically increased the museum’s attendance over his seven-year tenure.

"Gonzalo's leadership and vision helped us realize a new approach to programming that uses the High Line as a platform for innovative cultural experiences that are relevant to our neighbors and New Yorkers more broadly," said Robert Hammond, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Friends of the High Line. "In addition to producing events and performances that featured hundreds of New York City-based artists, Gonzalo and the incredible team he built have increased attendance at our programming by 300% in three years, and helped ensure that we reach an audience that reflects the rich diversity of the city. His passion for cultural equity, arts, and social justice was instrumental in shaping our vision of an inspiring, equitable public space for all."

Casals will begin in his new role during one of the most pivotal week’s in Leslie- Lohman’s storied Soho history. This expansion project, which will open to the public on Friday, March 10, will effectively double the size of the Museum’s programmable exhibition space. This physical transformation will allow Leslie-Lohman to remain open to the public year-round, providing a broader array of special exhibitions and galleries to display the Museum’s impressive collection and archives of over 30,000 objects amassed over the last fifty years.

The inaugural exhibition in Leslie-Lohman’s newly opened galleries, Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting, will open on March 10, 2017. Expanded Visions presents a survey of the Museum’s collection, initiated by the museum co-founders, Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have spent more than fifty years amassing artworks that speak directly to the LGBTQ experience. With approximately 250 works on view, this exhibition mines the rich cultural coffers of the museum’s permanent collection to trace the evolution of Leslie-Lohman, amid decades of shifting social conditions.

Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting will be on view at Wooster Street starting March 10, 2017. For more information, please contact Andrew@SUTTONpr.com.

Media Kit: goo.gl/M5vv4a
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Andrew Huff
SUTTON
Andrew@suttonpr.com
+1 212 202 3402

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ABOUT GONZALO CASALS
For the last decade, Gonzalo Casals, has been exploring arts and culture as a vehicle to foster empowerment, social capital, and civic participation. Through his work at El Museo del Barrio, Friends of the High Line, and now the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, he joins the leadership of a generation of cultural workers that are redefining the civic role of cultural organizations and their relationship with communities, neighborhoods and cities.

Casals teaches arts administration at Baruch College, and Cultural Policy at Hunter College. He holds a Masters in Architecture and Design, (Universidad de Belgrano), an MA in Art History and Museum Studies (CCNY, CUNY), and he is currently working towards a degree in Urban Affairs (Hunter College, CUNY). Gonzalo’s experience ranges from innovative programming design, authentic engagement strategies and progressive cultural policy.

ABOUT THE EXPANSION
In March 2017, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will open its doors to a newly expanded 5,600 square-foot exhibition space, nearly doubling the size of the institution’s previous exhibition footprint. Leslie-Lohman, which has had a strong presence in Soho since the early 1970s, has an unparalleled collection of more than 30,000 works that connect to a variety of LGBTQ themes and help tell the story of LGBTQ history through a range of artistic and documentary mediums. This expansion will allow the Museum to remain open year-round, and offer an even more diverse, ambitious, and timely mix of exhibitions and programs annually.

ABOUT THE LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY AND LESBIAN ART
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first and only dedicated LGBTQ art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve LGBTQ art, and foster the artists who create it. The Museum has a collection of over 30,000 objects and offers several major exhibitions and events annually, The Archive (a quarterly art newsletter), a membership program, and a research library. The Leslie-Lohman Museum began as the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc., a non-profit founded in 1987 by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have supported gay and lesbian artists for over 30 years. The Leslie-Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the LGBTQ art community by educating, informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter its doors.

The Museum is located at 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Admission is free, and hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6 pm, and Thursday, 12-8 pm. The Museum is closed Monday and all major holidays. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is a non-profit organization and is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. The Museum can be reached at 212-431-2609. For more information, go to LeslieLohman.org.

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