Janet T. Langsam Honored with Selina Roberts Ottum Award


Americans for the Arts presents our Annual Leadership Awards as part of the 2020 virtual convening of the Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference. These awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

Janet T. Langsam is the CEO of ArtsWestchester, an organization that financially and promotionally supports all of the arts in Westchester County through  government, corporate and institutional partnerships. During her 29 year tenure, Ms. Langsam, an artist and journalist, has helped grow the organization to a $4.9 million agency and has made the arts more visible, diverse, and accessible for residents. As CEO, Ms. Langsam advocates for funding, supports local artists and cultural organizations, champions the county’s arts community and reports on the economic impact of the arts. 

Among her many achievements, Ms. Langsam spearheaded the purchase and reimagining of an abandoned historic bank building into an arts incubator for artists, architects and creative businesses.  As a proponent of public art, Ms. Langsam recently collaborated with the N.Y. Thruway Authority on a sculpture component for the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. In her career, she has fostered artist residencies in schools, housing projects, mental health facilities and developed contemporary art installations in hospitals, shopping centers and housing developments. She has been named amongst 914INC’s Most Influential Women of Westchester. 

Prior to her current position, Ms. Langsam served as President and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts and held positions in three NYC Mayoral Administrations. As Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, she convened the first meeting in 1978 of the cultural leaders of the fifty largest US cities, which became the USUAF. As Assistant Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development. she pioneered the conversion of city-owned vacant properties to cultural sites and artist housing. A Queens native, she is a founder and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Queens Museum. She holds a Master’s degree from New York University’s Graduate School of Public Service. 

Stay tuned for more Leadership Award honoree highlights leading up to the virtual convening!





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