When asked who should steer the Leslie Lohman Art Museum through the coronavirus pandemic and towards a new chapter in its 50-year history of promoting queer art, it was answered on Monday when the board announced that it was the nonprofit Executive had selected Alyssa Nitchun as his next director.
Ms. Nitchun will be the first strange woman to run the museum. When it starts in February, its first mission will be to build the institution’s reputation abroad and help secure its financial future.
“The Leslie-Lohman did an excellent job staying afloat during the pandemic, but there are new opportunities that I can bring with my Rolodex,” she said. “My dream is that we can expand and welcome a whole new group of artists and audiences.”
The leadership change comes after former director of the LGBTQ art museum, Gonzalo Casals, announced in March that he would be leaving New York City as commissioner for cultural affairs. On his departure, he tapped former Queens Museum director Laura Raicovich as his temporary replacement. For the past eight months, she has helped guide the institution through the uncertain economy of the pandemic by keeping galleries closed and closing a budget gap of $ 1.3 million in programming with other nonprofits.
Now Mrs. Raicovich is ready to hand over the reins.
“Alyssa is a consummate New Yorker who loves everything that is fabulous and weird,” said Ms. Raicovich. “I think she has the energy of a thousand strong women and she will take the museum to the next level.”
Ms. Nitchun, 43, joins the Leslie Lohman Museum after spending nearly seven years at Creative Time, a non-profit organization known for producing large-format public works of art. There she worked briefly as managing director after working in the areas of development and external relations.
Her arrival at the Queer Arts Center comes at a time when many directors of cultural organizations are leaving their positions. In recent months, executives have announced their resignations at Tenement Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, SculptureCenter, Museum of Art and Design, Asia Society, Rubin Museum of Art, and others.
As director, Ms. Nitchun will be tasked with helping rebuild the Leslie Lohman Museum after Covid-19 budget problems forced the museum to cut its workforce by more than a third.
“The museum has a reputation and a gravity that deserves expanding nationally and internationally,” said Ms. Nitchun, adding that she “will be passionately focused” on expanding Leslie-Lohman’s ability as ” Haven, catalyst and provocateur “to serve. ”