Mara Manus joins the New York State Council on the Arts as Executive Director

New York, NY: The New York State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that Mara Manus has been appointed the agency’s new executive director.

Ms. Manus has served as executive director of the Public Theater in New York City as well as a program officer at the Ford Foundation. Previous roles also include Director of Playwrights of New York, Executive Director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Founding Director of the Arthur Miller Foundation and Southampton Arts Center. Ms. Manus founded a management consulting firm, Manus + Co, to launch cultural organizations and provide other non-profits with leadership and organizational development support and has provided consulting services to numerous arts organizations including The Harmony Program, Pilobolus and Bay Street Theater. Ms. Manus earned a B.A. from Stanford University.

“I am honored to join the staff of the New York State Council on the Arts and to contribute to the growth, achievement and appreciation of artists and organizations in all of our 62 counties,” Ms. Manus said. “I look forward to working with our talented and dedicated staff, our Chair Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and the NYSCA Council to ensure that we continue and expand our capacity as a vital resource to the field and the public.”

“On behalf of the Council, I welcome Mara Manus and look forward to working together to cultivate New York State’s remarkable arts and culture,” said NYSCA Chair Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. “Her managerial expertise, breadth of knowledge about the non-profit arts field, and deep commitment to our state’s artists and arts organizations will be great assets to NYSCA, our grantees, and our publics.”


The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) champions community and creativity by preserving and advancing numerous aspects of the cultural heritage that makes New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. These aims are primarily achieved through the agency’s grant-making activity. Annually, the agency awards $41 Million to more than 1,200 organizations statewide.

The projects, artists and organizations NYSCA supports underscore the diversity and scope of the State’s residents and visitors. From New York City’s landmarks to traditional artisans in the North Country, from international dance companies to teaching artists in inner-city schools, the impact of the agency’s funding can be seen in each of the State’s 62 counties. Annually, NYSCA’s funding helps to engage new audiences, drive artistic excellence and innovation, introduce children to the arts, build organizational capacity and support our State’s organizations.

Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960, and continued and expanded to the present day with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, NYSCA is an agency of the Executive Branch of the New York State Government. For more information on NYSCA, please visit:


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