The Board of Directors of No Longer Empty together withCarol Stakenas have announced that Ms. Stakenas will step down as its Executive Director at the end of October, 2018.
Carol Stakenas joined No Longer Empty (NLE) in 2016. During this period, NLE focused on the transformation of its model, articulation of a refined mission statement, and creation of the organization’s first 3-year programming plan. She led the organization in the process of re-visioning the scope of its site-responsive exhibition program to extend the duration of its work in major community-centered projects in locations such as Jamaica, Queens, and currently in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Ms. Stakenas played a key role in NLE’s partnership with the Queens Museum to present the boundary-breaking artist survey Mel Chin: All Over the Place. She brought to bear her expertise in socially engaged art and temporary public practices to oversee the off-site projects across New York City, including the massive sculpture Wake and mixed reality app Unmoored. Developed in partnership with Times Square Arts and Microsoft, these projects engaged more than 5 million visitors at Times Square.
During her tenure, Stakenas grew No Longer Empty’s staff to include a Director of Public Engagement and an Education Programs Manager. These hires supported the articulation of the NLE Education Matrix, which offers extended, multi-year opportunities to teens based in the communities in which NLE is working. In 2017, ART ZONE CG-91: Community Art and Data Lab was initiated to refine NLE’s research phase when entering a community and site. This pilot project involved youth, elders, artists and a social designer as collaborative researchers, and launched NLE’s current work at Kings County Hospital. NLE’s newest citywide initiative Ghost Net Sessions: Illuminating Unseen Powers, starting this fall, has been designed to provide brave spaces for dialogue on urgent issues and sustain connections with the artists and cultural partners NLE works with across the city.
Manon Slome, Co-Founder and Chief Curator of No Longer Empty said, “I will miss the deep conceptual conversations I have had with Carol over the past two years. Her keen insight into our work has really progressed the impact of our programs, and I wish her well as she moves forward.”
“I am honored to have been part of the growth and transformation of No Longer Empty at this critical juncture,” commented Ms. Stakenas. “Over the next month, I will work closely with Manon and the core team to ensure a smooth transition. While it is time to explore new opportunities, I remain deeply committed to this work and I am confident that No Longer Empty has a great future ahead.”
Nancy Schwartz-Weinstock and Michael Steinberg, Co-Chairs of No Longer Empty’s Board of Directors, have said: “We are deeply grateful to Carol for her contributions to No Longer Empty’s artistic and educational programs and continued relevancy to the social, cultural and political life of New York City.” The board will conduct a search for the new Executive Director.