Creative Capital Names Suzy Delvalle As New President and Executive Director
Pioneering artist support and professional development organization Creative Capital has named Susan Delvalle as its new President and Executive Director. Delvalle will succeed Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital’s founder and current President and Executive Director, who announced in 2015 her intention to step down from the role after seventeen years at the helm of the organization.
Only the second President and Executive Director in Creative Capital’s history, Delvalle comes to the organization with a strong background in the arts, fundraising, and institution-building. Delvalle most recently served as Director of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, overseeing the opening of a new museum in New York City. She previously served as Director of External Affairs and Development at El Museo Del Barrio, where she dramatically increased the museum’s budget and attendance over her eleven-year tenure.
“It’s a privilege to be chosen,” said Susan Delvalle. “I’ve long admired Creative Capital’s unique approach to arts funding and am honored to follow in Ruby Lerner’s footsteps. I’m looking forward to working with and learning from the Creative Capital community to develop a collaborative vision for the future as we continue our efforts to incubate groundbreaking new art and help artists build sustainable careers.”
Following a robust national search, Delvalle was unanimously chosen by a Search Committee made up of Creative Capital Board Chair Lyda Kuth; Chair-Elect Stephen Reily; founding board members Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Ron Feldman, Lewis Hyde, and Sunny Bates; board members Ed Colloton and Annie Han (an artist and Creative Capital awardee); and outside members Lisa Phillips (New Museum) and Russell Ferguson (UCLA). The Committee was advised by Phillips Oppenheim, an executive search firm, which reviewed over a hundred nominations for the position from all across the country.
“Suzy is a gifted communicator and fundraiser with an incredible passion for the arts,” said Creative Capital Board Chair Lyda Kuth. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her join Creative Capital and look forward to seeing the organization grow under her leadership in the years to come.” Delvalle’s selection comes as Creative Capital continues to receive strong support from institutional donors, including the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which has committed to contributing funding to Creative Capital for the next five years.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to lead Creative Capital for nearly two decades,” said current President and Executive Director Ruby Lerner. “I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done to help artists realize their visions and develop the skills and know-how to sustain their careers into the future. I feel completely confident handing over the reins to Suzy Delvalle at this exciting juncture for Creative Capital. Suzy is a proven, creative institution builder who is skilled at bringing people together to achieve ambitious goals. Just as importantly, I know she’ll continue to foster the sense of community that makes Creative Capital such a special organization.”
About Susan Delvalle
Susan R. Delvalle (Suzy) is the former Executive Director of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling. As leader of the Museum’s development process, Delvalle oversaw all aspects, including physical, administrative, and programmatic; established partnerships with a wide range of NYC organizations for initial Museum programming; raised both capital and operating support; and built a robust Board of Trustees and Advisory Board.
Previously, Suzy served as Director of External Affairs at El Museo del Barrio in New York, where she secured the museum’s first major city, state and federal funding including over $35 million in capital support and a three-year $2 million capacity-building grant. Before joining El Museo, Suzy worked for American Composers Orchestra following a career in consumer banking and advertising. She also served as Adjunct Faculty at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and as a Guest Lecturer in the Arts Management program at The New School.
Suzy holds an undergraduate degree from Bentley University and a master’s degree from New School University’s Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy. Suzy was born and raised in Curaçao and speaks Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento.
Praise for Susan Delvalle
“Suzy is a passionate and engaged arts advocate and a dynamic leader. In her many and varied collaborations with artists, donors, audiences, and community stakeholders she continually shows her incredible talent for actualizing real change and innovation. I have every confidence that this appointment signals an important moment for Creative Capital.”
– Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem
“I’m thrilled that Suzy has been chosen as the new Executive Director of Creative Capital. She is an empathetic, energetic and uncompromising champion for artists. I know she will approach this new role with an inclusive and open mind that will set the stage for Creative Capital’s continued growth. She’s an inspired choice.”
– Julian Zugazagoitia, Director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
“I’m excited to welcome Suzy Delvalle as the new President and Executive Director of Creative Capital. As a member of the search committee, I was so impressed by Suzy’s commitment to supporting artists, her warmth and ability to make connections among people, and her phenomenal track record as a fundraiser. Suzy has a magnetic personality and everyone we spoke to held her in the highest esteem. We’re so excited to see what she’ll accomplish at Creative Capital.”
– Annie Han, Creative Capital Awardee and Member of the Board of Directors
“I can’t begin to say how excited I am for Suzy and for Creative Capital. Suzy is an inspiring leader, a keen listener and a natural connector of people and communities. Moreover, she’s an unconventional thinker with an almost intuitive sense for how to support artists. She always asks questions about my projects that challenge me and has made a point of connecting me to other artists and arts professionals, which has helped me develop important new relationships and even led to collaborative projects.”
– Titus Kaphar, Creative Capital Awardee
“It’s so exciting to hear that Suzy Delvalle will be leading the next chapter of Creative Capital’s important work. Her undying belief in artists, hip sense of diplomacy and contagious laughter will ensure Creative Capital’s continued success. She’s the bee’s knees—100%.”
– Lauren Kelley, Creative Capital Awardee; Associate Director of Curatorial Programs at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling