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Kathleen Reckling Named New CEO of ArtsWestchester

After an extensive national search, ArtsWestchester’s Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Kathleen Reckling as its new CEO, effective July 1, 2024. She is succeeding Janet Langsam who, after 33 years of stalwart leadership at ArtsWestchester bolstering the county’s cultural infrastructure, is transitioning from CEO to CEO Emerita.

Reckling joined ArtsWestchester in 2011, and during her tenure has held key leadership roles: spearheading the Arts Council’s exhibition program over the last decade, serving as Director of Public Programs and most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer for the organization. Among her numerous honors and recognitions, Reckling was selected as a Business Council of Westchester Rising Star in 2020 and a 914INC. Wunderkind in 2015.

“In appointing Kathleen as our next CEO, the ArtsWestchester Board affirms our confidence in Kathleen’s leadership abilities and strategic expertise expressed in her numerous ArtsWestchester successes, achievements, and her commitment to the Westchester arts community and affiliates. Kathleen’s vision for ArtsWestchester will build on the organization’s notable legacy and further enhance ArtsWestchester’s mission to bring the arts to all Westchester residents,” said Marie Smith, President of the Board of Directors of ArtsWestchester.

“I am thrilled that ArtsWestchester has selected Kathleen Reckling as its new CEO. With her long-time service, rising through the ranks at ArtsWestchester, Kathleen brings a level of expertise, strategic leadership, vision and energy that will propel this storied organization to the next level,” said ArtsWestchester Board Member Edward J. Lewis III, President & CEO, Caramoor.

“It’s a great honor to take on this incredible leadership position at ArtsWestchester, an organization that is deeply respected and that has significant personal meaning for me,” said Reckling. “I am excited to continue my work alongside our dedicated Board of Directors and many community partners. This is an exceptionally dynamic time for the arts in the lower Hudson Valley, with a booming creative workforce and unbounded vision among our many new and established cultural organizations. I look forward to guiding and empowering our talented team as we seek new opportunities to expand our impact and support of this diverse and ever-growing arts sector.”

Reckling is a sought-out partner in public art, working across the public and private sectors to deliver inspiring works of art. In 2016, she was recognized as an emerging leader in the field by Americans for the Arts with a scholarship to its annual Public Art Conference. She oversaw the creation and installation of “Best of Westchester” winning “Metropolis Sunrise,” a six-story textile sculpture by Amanda Browder for the façade of ArtsWestchester’s building. Despite a pause in project activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1,000 volunteers from across Westchester participated in the artwork’s creation. In addition, she managed the Serious Fun Arts Fest, a five-day public art festival produced in collaboration with I Love NY, the City of White Plains, the White Plains BID, and 11 property developers. Working in partnership with the NYS Thruway Authority and the Arts Council of Rockland, she oversaw the commissioning of 10 major works of art for the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. In addition, she managed the commissioning of “Peaceful Journey” by Eto Otitigbe, monument to Dwight Myers, known professionally as Heavy D, a trailblazing hip-hop artist and Mount Vernon resident. The two-story sculpture was created for 42 Broad Street, an Alexander Development property in Mount Vernon.

In her various roles at ArtsWestchester, Reckling has been an advocate for area artists. As Gallery Director, she grew ArtsWestchester’s exhibitions program into a regional leader by securing significant National Endowment for the Arts funding in every fiscal year since 2014. Over 2020, she oversaw the creation and administration of a COVID-19 Relief Fund that distributed emergency grants of $500 to Westchester artists. In addition, she successfully secured an American Rescue Plan Act Local Arts Agency Subgrant from the NEA to expand and administer a new grant program, Voices for Change which supports the creation of new work by Hudson Valley regional artists.

As Director of Public Programs, she championed ArtsWestchester’s commitment to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in and through the arts. Under her supervision, ArtsWestchester established a Social Justice Committee, deepened allyship with the LGBTQ+ community and initiated ongoing public programs developed in collaboration with a diverse array of Westchester’s cultural communities, including the outdoor concert series Westchester Roots. Among the department’s notable achievements was the formation of the Westchester Heritage Ambassador Corps. Supported by a major two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Heritage Ambassador Program is a community scholars training initiative that supports the development of cultural leaders and programming in under-resourced Westchester communities.

Reckling holds a Master of Arts in Art History from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Columbia College of Columbia University. In 2012, she received Columbia College Alumni Association’s Dean’s Award. Reckling trained in curatorial departments at institutions in New York City and Westchester, including the Hudson River Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian New York.

A life-long Westchester resident, Reckling is a former internationally ranked fencer who competed in two US Olympic Trials. She captained the Columbia University Fencing Team to a Top 3 finish at the 2007 NCAA Division 1 Championships and to the Ivy League Conference Championship title. Since 2020, she has served as Board President of Fencers Club, INC, the oldest, continuously running school dedicated to the sport of fencing in North America.

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