The hire comes nearly a year after Cora Cahan, the founding president and CEO of the organization that spearheaded the transformation of Times Square from a visitor-unfriendly porn hub to New York’s premiere family-friendly tourist destination, announced her intended departure.
“New York City is a place where everyone belongs – that’s in no small part because of Cora Cahan’s stewardship of 42nd Street and her transformation of this neighborhood at the crossroads of the world,” said Fiona Rudin, Chair of the Board of New 42nd Street. “Now, we look to Russell Granet to put a spotlight on what our organization has achieved, elevating diverse voices in the arts, inspiring kids and creating lifelong arts lovers and citizens for whom anything is possible. Under Russell’s leadership, we know that New 42nd Street will be a space where young people don’t just feel welcome, but actively belong.”
Granet most recently served as Acting President of Lincoln Center. He had been the longtime head of education and community engagement there. He will join The New 42nd Street in early July.
“I am honored to take on the mantle of such a transformative leader as Cora Cahan as the head of New 42nd Street,” said Granet. “While New York’s streetscape has flourished, inequality has grown, especially among children. I’m committed to build on Cora’s legacy to ensure that every child living in or visiting our great city has equal access to the transformative power of theater; it is important that young people see themselves accurately represented in the arts. It is that personal engagement that unlocks unlimited possibilities.”
Said Cahan: “We launched The New 42nd Street with The New Victory, a theater for families, intrinsically linking arts education with presentations from around the world to bring kids to the arts and the arts to kids. I know Russell’s scope of experience, commitment and significant contributions to the arts and arts education, and I am confident that he will advance the New 42nd Street’s mission to make extraordinary performing arts a part of everyone’s life. I also know that the smart, talented and dedicated staff, with whom I have been fortunate to work for 29 years, will share and support his aspirations for the organization going forward.”
According to New 42nd Street, Granet oversaw a critical time in Lincoln Center’s history, working with the staff and Board to balance the budget over a three-month period, and “widely credited with reinventing education and community engagement at Lincoln Center, tripling the educational programming and budget and driving an increased focus on underserved young audiences that included implementing a citywide arts education initiative for high-needs middle schools.”