Steven Tennen, our Executive Director for the past 34 years, will be stepping down at the end of the 2020 program year in August.
Under his leadership, ArtsConnection has grown into a nationally recognized organization providing groundbreaking arts programming for English Language Learners, children on the autism spectrum, early childhood students, general education students grades pre-k through high school during the school day and teenagers across the five boroughs during out-of-school-time hours.
Steve began his career in 1968 as a teacher at PS 287 in Brooklyn. He then spent a decade directing arts education and theatre programming at Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center and three years as Executive Director of the Jamaica Arts Center before joining ArtsConnection as Executive Director in 1985.

Debra Harounian Peltz, Chairman of ArtsConnection’s Board of Directors, reflected on Steve’s leadership:

Steve’s long stewardship of ArtsConnection, growing the organization into the premier provider of arts education services to New York City’s public school students, as well his impact on the larger arts education field, is unparalleled. Over his tenure, the organization has reached millions of children and teens, enhancing their intellectual, social and emotional skills.  With unprecedented success in winning US Department of Education arts education research grants under his leadership—13 in total—more than any other non-profit or school district in the country, ArtsConnection has proved the impact of the arts on students’ educational success.  Beyond the walls of ArtsConnection, Steve’s voice and ideas have garnered respect as a contributor to the dialogue and policy decisions about arts for our schools. 

ArtsConnection’s Board of Directors has activated a Transition Committee, and an active search to find a new Executive Director has begun. They expect to have a new Executive Director in place by the beginning of the new school year in September.