Katherine Farley to Step Down as Chair of the Board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; To be Succeeded by Steven R. Swartz, CEO of Hearst
Farley led a major transition at Lincoln Center with the opening of the
new David Geffen Hall, new programmatic direction, and
transformation of the Board – hands over to visionary leader Swartz
New York, NY (March 9, 2023) – Katherine Farley will step down as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in June, a role she has held since 2010, she and Henry Timms, President & CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, announced today.
She will be succeeded by Steven R. Swartz, CEO of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest global, diversified information, services, and media companies and a member of the Board of Directors since 2012. During his eleven years on the Board, he has consistently been at the heart of Lincoln Center, serving on the Executive Committee, and reimagining the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund to raise over $75 million for the constituent organizations.
A transformational leader, Swartz has reimagined legacy institutions throughout his career, with a particular expertise in the digital media world, which he will draw upon at Lincoln Center. He served a five-year term as Chair of the Associated Press, recently stepped down as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for New York City, and currently serves as a Vice Chair of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Swartz has been elected ‘Chair Designate’ and will become the active Board Chair on June 13. Farley will remain a member of the Board and serve on the Executive Committee.
“I am deeply honored to have served as Board Chair of this great institution and am so proud of all we have accomplished together,” said Katherine Farley, outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center. “We are well-positioned for a strong future of service to all of New York City, and Steve is the leader to bring us into the next chapter. He is at the vanguard always, transforming complex organizations to meet and exceed their goals, anticipate community needs, and realize a strong future rooted in a foundation of service and community. Steve will be a phenomenal Chair.”
“Katherine Farley has been a truly transformative leader of Lincoln Center and through her work has enhanced the lives of New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world,” said Steven R. Swartz, incoming Chair of the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center. “I look forward to working with Katherine, our extraordinary CEO Henry Timms, and our great Lincoln Center team, Board, and constituent organizations to forge the next chapter for this vital New York institution.”
“Katherine’s impact on Lincoln Center and New York has been extraordinary. Her courage and vision as Chair have led the Board to transform our work, building David Geffen Hall through the pandemic, to deliver the $550 million project two years early, and supporting 6,000 jobs for the city. The new hall marks the crescendo of her work to transform the campus, serving as Chair of Lincoln Center’s $1.2 billion Redevelopment Project. She has earned her place as one of the true greats of Lincoln Center. We are especially thrilled she will remain on the Executive Committee,” said Henry Timms, President & CEO of Lincoln Center. “There could not be a better successor than Steven R. Swartz. Steve is a visionary leader, widely admired across Lincoln Center, New York City, and far beyond. He is a world-class leader in business and philanthropy, a trusted partner to so many, and has the complete confidence of the Lincoln Center community.”
Farley joined the Board in 2003, before which time she served on the Boards of the New York Philharmonic (1999-2005) and Lincoln Center Theater (2002-2005). She also chaired the Lincoln Center Development Project from 2006-2010. Her steadfast leadership as Chair of the Board over the past 13 years has helped Lincoln Center through an era of deep transformation, both capital and programmatic.
With the reopening of David Geffen Hall in October of 2022, in partnership with CEO Henry Timms and the New York Philharmonic, she led another capital project core to not only the improvement of the Lincoln Center campus, but to the whole city: delivered through the pandemic to open two years early and on budget, the project served as an economic engine for the city when it was needed most and now is a newly-open and welcoming space accessible to all of New York City. An achievement decades in the making, it is a project Farley had been working on essentially since she first arrived at Lincoln Center, heading up the Buildings Committee of the New York Philharmonic Board from 1999-2005.
She was instrumental in closing out the BRAVO campaign, a $1.2 billion visionary capital campaign which enabled the Diller, Scofidio + Renfro reconfiguration of the entire Lincoln Center campus – broadly revitalizing 65th street and Hearst Plaza, and expanding and modernizing key performance and education venues including The Juilliard School, Alice Tully Hall, and Frederick P. Rose Hall. The project was completed in 2012.
Along with Henry Timms, Farley has spearheaded the work to open the institution to new and more diverse audiences; together, they’ve reimagined the institution’s approach to programming, starting with appointing a number of new executive leaders including the first-ever Chief Artistic Officer, Shanta Thake.
Katherine oversaw a transformation of the Lincoln Center Board; this includes the launch of the Lincoln Center Leadership Fellows, a two-year program for high-performing emerging leaders across sectors, to develop a pipeline of board members for the entire campus. 75% of the current class identify as people of color.
Summer for the City, a free, outdoor festival now in its second year, has united institutional artistic and festival siloes to blend the presentation of western classical music alongside other forms, introducing broader audiences to all. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has also broadly expanded its commitment to accessible ticketing, including Choose-What-You-Pay tickets and has more than doubled the number of free programs annually.
Since joining in 2012, incoming chair Steven R. Swartz has been extremely active across the Board of Directors; he currently leads the Revenue Committee and is a former chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He also serves as a member of the Executive Committee, the Personnel & Executive Compensation Committee, and served for ten years as Chair of the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund.
Swartz has been a prolific fundraiser for the institution; in his role as the head of the Corporate Fund, he helped raise over $75 million for the campus, held 78 successful fundraising events, and expanded the Fund’s councils to include a Business Council, Junior Business Council, Women’s Council, and a Media & Entertainment Council. He led the leadership committee and Executive Council.
Swartz and the Lincoln Center Board of Directors bring an incredible range of experience and expertise to Lincoln Center, and are committing to creating a more inclusive and equitable future of excellence across the campus.
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About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) is a cultural and civic cornerstone of New York City. The primary advocate for the entire Lincoln Center campus, our strategic priorities include: fostering collaboration and deepening impact across the Lincoln Center resident organizations; championing inclusion and increasing the accessibility and reach of Lincoln Center’s work; and nurturing innovation on stage and off to help ensure the arts are at the center of civic life for all. LCPA presents hundreds of programs each year, offered primarily for free and choose-what-you- pay, including many specially designed for young audiences, families, and those with disabilities.
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