Kay Takeda to Lead Foundation for Contemporary Arts

February 2nd, 2022

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) today announced Kay Takeda as its new executive director. Takeda will step into her new role at the New York–based nonprofit March 28. She succeeds Stacy Tenenbaum Stark, who led the organization from 2005 to 2021. Takeda will be responsible for overseeing the foundation’s efforts in support of experimental artists and will work closely with the board of directors to ensure access to its programs for artists of all backgrounds and abilities.

“Over the course of her career in arts philanthropy, Kay Takeda has been deeply thoughtful and consistently imaginative in her dedication to supporting artists,” said FCA board cochair Cecily Brown. “Her work is grounded in meaningful engagement with artists—as individuals and as a community—and a steadfast commitment to supporting artists' evolving needs, qualities that lie at the core of the mission of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. We are thrilled to welcome Kay Takeda to her leadership role and look forward eagerly to working with her.”

Takeda, who has more than twenty-five years’ experience in arts leadership, was previously deputy director of artist programs for Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York. While there, she inaugurated the Joan Mitchell Fellowship, which reimagined the foundation’s established $25,000 Painters and Sculptors grant as a $60,000 award administered over the course of five years and attended by creative and career development support. She additionally led the organization’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, distributing $1.25 million in direct relief funds to alumni artists and to regrant partners Artist Relief and New Orleans Creative Response. Prior to her work at the Joan Mitchell Foundation, she served as vice president of grants and services at New York’s Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, where she worked to revivify the waterfront area of the city’s Lower East Side and to restore cultural activity in downtown Manhattan following 9/11.

The FCA was founded in 1963 by artists John Cage (1912–1992) and Jasper Johns with the mission of aiding emerging visual artists. “The challenges of the past two years have reminded us that individuals and organizations working in solidarity can make a difference,” said Takeda. “I am inspired by how [the FCA] keeps sight of artists doing generative work to interpret and influence culture and how each artist makes a larger contribution, beyond any single project. It’s an honor to work with the staff and board to further this vibrant mission and the creative community that it celebrates and fosters.”