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Alex Poots named founding CEO and artistic director of Culture Shed

— November 2014

Associated media

Artist's impression of Culture Shed: aerial view from South with 30th Street Entrance under the Highline.  Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

CEO and artistic director of Manchester International Festival, and artistic director of Park Avenue Armory Appointed to lead Culture Shed

Culture Shed, the new centre for artistic and cultural innovation in New York City, announced today it has appointed Alex Poots as CEO and artistic director. Poots has been chosen because the board believes that he:
brings an unparalleled reputation for ambitious, wide-ranging arts programming and dynamic cultural leadership to Culture Shed, which is now under construction on Manhattan’s far West Side at the intersection of the High Line and Hudson Yards.

Alex Poots said:
Culture Shed will be a purpose-built international centre for artistic and cultural innovation. Our goal is to support artists and creative minds to develop and evolve their practice, welcoming the widest audience. It’s an honour to accept this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Poots will assume a full-time role at Culture Shed in September 2015, and will immediately begin to build the organization’s staff and plan its inaugural programming. Poots currently serves as CEO and artistic director of the Manchester International Festival (MIF), which he has built in just nine years from a start-up into a leading commissioning festival of original new work and special events. Alongside his work for MIF, Alex has acted as artistic director for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons at the Park Avenue Armory.

Poots also acts as external arts adviser to the BBC, and previously held positions as artistic adviser to the London 2012 Olympic Games cultural festival; director of Contemporary Arts at the English National Opera (ENO); and co-creator and programmer for Tate Modern and Tate Britain’s first live event series.

Dan Doctoroff is chairman of Culture Shed’s board, which also includes Diane von Furstenberg. He explained:

Culture Shed began with a vision for a new kind of cultural space in New York City, a forward-looking institution that responds to the needs of artists and creative industries. No one is more suited than Alex Poots to transform these aspirations into a vital and compelling artistic vision for Culture Shed.

Enabled by its unique combination of flexible spaces of varying scales, Culture Shed’s mission is to commission, programme and present innovative work – generated internationally, nationally and locally – across the spectrum of arts, culture and the creative industries. It will also provide a creative context and facility for like-minded artists, companies and presenters. Culture Shed will work closely with leading artists and organizations from around the world, including those from New York City.

 Construction is underway on the foundation of Culture Shed, with full construction to begin in mid-2015. The project is anticipated to be completed and ready for opening in 2018. The architects are Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with the Rockwell Group

Culture Shed will also welcome the widest range of innovative creative industries, from film, fashion and video to performing arts, culinary arts, music and publishing. The venue includes three museum-quality, world-class gallery spaces.

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