Alex Poots to Lead New York’s Planned $360-million Culture Shed
Alex Poots, artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory as well as the biennial Manchester International Festival in England, has been named artistic director and chief executive of New York’s Culture Shed. Poots will resign his Armory and Manchester posts next September to focus full time on programming for the $360-million culture complex located on Manhattan’s West Side, overlooking the Hudson River.
Prior to his current positions, Poots served as director of contemporary arts at the English National Opera and worked as an independent producer. He helped create the Tate Modern and Tate Britain’s first live events series, which highlighted works such as Anish Kapoor’s collaboration with Arvo Part and Peter Sellars; and a project with Steve McQueen, Jessye Norman, and PJ Harvey. In 2012, he served as an artistic adviser for London’s Cultural Olympiad.
“We were looking for someone who was really a cultural entrepreneur, an impresario,” Daniel Doctoroff, Culture Shed’s chairman and former Bloomberg LP president and CEO told the New York Times. “We’re trying to do something that no one has ever done before—it’s a real start-up—and in Alex we have found that person.”
In the planning stages since 2008, Culture Shed is an ambitious complex for visual and performing arts. Developed along the lines of European-style kunsthalle, the institution will contain facilities for art exhibitions, performance and film theaters, and spaces reserved for design, food, and fashion. Formerly known as Hudson Yards Culture Shed, the 26-six acre location was controlled by the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, who leased the property to developers for $1 billion in 2010.
The city has contributed $75 million toward the project to date. Further funding, around $266 million, has been secured so far from a variety of public and private donors and investors. Construction is already underway for the six-story, 200,000-square-foot complex designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group. Completion of the building is projected for fall 2017, and the Culture Shed’s public launch is scheduled for spring 2018.
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