Curator Ben Heywood Named Head of Tech Billionaire Paul Allen’s New Culture Project

Ben Heywood was will run Paul Allen's new Pivot Art + Culture space in Seattle.


Ben Heywood was will run Paul Allen's new Pivot Art + Culture space in Seattle.

Ben Heywood was will run Paul Allen’s new Pivot Art + Culture space in Seattle.

Billionaire collector and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is wading ever deeper into the art world these days.

In addition to the Vulcan-sponsored Seattle Art Fair that opens on July 30, Allen announced a new venture last month: a nonprofit space called Pivot Art + Culture.

The nonprofit venture will be a 4,000-square foot, two-room space in the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which opens in December. According to the website, Pivot will: “curate and promote compelling art installations, programming and exhibitions” as well as “explore a variety of cultural concepts at any given time.” Works from both public and private collections, in addition to works from the Allen Family Collection, will be on display.

Allen Institute. Photo:

Allen Institute.

On July 24, Allen named Minneapolis curator and Ben Heywood as the head of Pivot Art + Culture. For nearly 13 years, Heywood served as director of The Soap Factory, an alternative space in Northeast Minneapolis.

Heywood told the Star Tribune of his new gig: “Allen is a great guy with extremely deep pockets and I think we can do some very exciting things here.”

The curator is working on developing Pivot’s new programs and told the Star Tribune he will keep the spirit of experimental art alive in his new job.

“We’re looking at breaking down as many barriers between genres, and between artistic silos, and between the audiences and the public for art, as we possibly can,” he told the Seattle Times.

For related coverage, see:

10 Tips For Newly Minted Tech Millionaires

Why Are Gagosian, Pace, and Zwirner Signing On to the Seattle Art Fair?

Microsoft CoFounder Paul Allen Launches New Art Fair in Seattle

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