Tom Finkelpearl

Keynote Address by Tom Finkelpearl: ACAW FIELD MEETING
October 26th, 2014

In the keynote address at the Asian Contemporary Art Week FIELD MEETING, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl discusses the idea of “Asian-ness,” globalization vs. multiculturalism, and other issues he addressed in his 12-year tenure as Executive Director at the Queens Museum of Art.

Tom Finkelpearl (New York)

Tom Finkelpearl is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In this role he oversees city funding for nonprofit arts organizations across the five boroughs and directs the cultural policy for the City of New York. Prior to his appointment by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Finkelpearl served as Executive Director of the Queens Museum for twelve years starting in 2002, overseeing an expansion that doubled the museum’s size and positioning the organization as a vibrant center for social engagement in nearby communities. He also held positions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, working on the organization’s merger with the Museum of Modern Art, and served as Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program. Based on his public art experience and additional research, he published a book, Dialogues in Public Art (MIT Press), in 2000. His second book, What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the activist, participatory, coauthored aesthetic experiences being created in contemporary art. He received a BA from Princeton University (1979) and an MFA from Hunter College (1983).


Polit-Sheer-Form Office, Library, Installation, 2008. Courtesy of MABSOCIETY.