Honoring a local arts leader

Americans for the Arts celebrates a woman who always says you gotta have art.

Americans for the Arts has announced that Janet T. Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester has received its Selina Roberts Ottum Award. The award, presented at Americans for the Arts’ digital Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference, recognizes an individual working in arts management who has made a meaningful contribution to her local community, exemplifying extraordinary leadership qualities. It is part of a suite of leadership awards that recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

As head of ArtsWestchester, Langsam guides 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, the Armonk resident, 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.

Langsam advocates for funding, supports local artists and cultural organizations, champions the county’s arts community and reports on the economic effect of the arts. Among her many achievements, Langsam spearheaded the purchase and reimagining of an abandoned historic bank building into an arts incubator for artists, architects and creative businesses called the Arts Exchange, which also serves as ArtsWestchester’s headquarters.

As a proponent of public art, Langsam recently collaborated with the New York State Thruway Authority on 10 works of public art for The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. In her career, she has fostered artist residencies in schools, housing projects and mental health facilities, and shaped contemporary art installations in hospitals, shopping centers and housing developments. She holds a master’s degree from New York University’s Graduate School of Public Service. 

For more, visit artswestchester.org.

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