Larisa Gelman

Executive Director
Midori & Friends

Midori & Friends is proud to welcome Larisa Gelman as its new executive director. Following a comprehensive and inclusive executive search, Ms. Gelman will serve as the leader, manager, fundraiser, and ambassador of Midori & Friends to advance music education in New York City public schools.

Gelman is an executive leader, steward of the arts, and award-winning musician with more than 20 years of experience and innovation in the performing, visual, and literary arts. She is a former Midori & Friends teaching artist with a strong record of nurturing collaborations among diverse artists, educators, and funders.

Gelman states, “It is truly an honor and a privilege to be welcomed back to Midori & Friends in the role of Executive Director. I look forward to continuing the stellar work that has been done by the organization; ensuring that music instruction is accessible for all students, bringing forth fresh new voices and musical ideas, and creating new pathways for leadership in the arts for future generations.”

The search was led by Ron Claiborne, Board Chairman; members of the Board, and Aspen Leadership Group, an executive search and consulting firm serving the nonprofit and philanthropy sector.

Ms. Gelman has an extensive background as an arts organization consultant, creativity coach, and innovative thinker specializing in fostering and advocating for positive social and educational change through art and culture. As the founder of ReThink Arts Consulting, she has led organizations through a dynamic creative process as a tool to galvanize ideas into impact thereby maximizing an organization’s capacity. Ms. Gelman has held various leadership roles at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC and the 92nd Street Y in New York City. During her decade-long tenure at 92Y, she created the Center for Education Outreach with the objective of ensuring a place for dance, music, visual art and the theater arts in the core curriculum of public schools. Ms. Gelman is an award-winning bassoonist with 20+ years of experience who continuously demonstrates the ability to translate visionary ideas into effective programs to further arts access, innovation, and understanding. Ms. Gelman earned a BA and BM from Oberlin College/Conservatory and a master’s degree in performance from Yale University.

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