Suzy Delvalle Is Ready to Take the Helm at Creative Capital

She has big shoes to fill.

Suzy Delvalle. Courtesy of Creative Capital.

Suzy Delvalle has been named the new president and executive director of Creative Capital. She replaces the nonprofit organization’s founder and current president Ruby Lerner, who has been at the helm for 17 years.

The foundation was created in 1999 to support the gap in arts funding after the National Endowment for the Arts terminated substantial individual grants four years prior. Nearly 2,000 people applied the first year. “This says a lot about the need that is out there, about the pent-up demand,” Lerner said in a 1999 interview with the New York Times.

Each year, Creative Capital accepts 46 applications from thousands of applicants; grant recipients can expect up to $50,000 in direct financial funding. (In the nonprofit’s initial iteration, 60 artists were selected with grants totaling no more than $20,000.)

Under Lerner’s tenure, Creative Capital has shifted its focus on expansion in recent years, funneling its energy in fundraisers to support annual retreats for the selected artists. Given Delvalle’s track record, the new director is certainly a good fit in extending the nonprofit’s institutional direction. Notably, her time as director of external affairs and development at El Museo del Barrio in New York helped the museum secure city, state, and federal funding.

Previous Creative Capital awardees include Lorraine O’Grady in 2015, Theaster Gates in 2012, and Kalup Linzy in 2008. Linzy’s project, Keys To Our Heart, described by the artist as a satirical gallery and museum video project, has since screened at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1.

“It’s a privilege to be chosen,” Delvalle said in a statement. “I’ve long admired Creative Capital’s unique approach to arts funding and am honored to follow in Ruby Lerner’s footsteps.”

Delvalle starts her new position in June.


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