One of the borough’s premiere arts organizations has a new executive director.
The Bronx Council on the Arts, a non-profit focusing on locally-based arts, artists and programing, appointed Viviana Bianchi as its new executive director after a six-month search.
Bianchi began her new position on Tuesday, September 5.
She takes the helm of the grassroots organization at an exciting time in a history stretching back to 1962.
The continually changing nature of borough communities makes this a moment for new alliances for BCA, she said, adding that there will be both challenges and opportunities ahead.
“I believe in the power of arts to change and impact communities,” she said, adding “I am very interested in finding out more of what is needed neighborhood by neighborhood.”
Construction work on a new BCA headquarters at a donated former bank building in Westchester Square is well underway, and Bianchi said she plans on visiting the building to determine how best to use the space.
Bianchi said that she expects the new headquarters to be a resource that will allow BCA to bring some of the programming now done elsewhere to its headquarters.
She added: “My goal is to make BCA the place to go for the arts.”
For the new executive director, the position is one that brings together two areas that have been focal points of her career: the arts and non-profits.
“I am very excited about being able to blend those two things,” she said. “It is like two tracks of my life that finally came together.”
Before any new initiatives, she plans on accessing artists’ and community needs, she said.
Bianchi added that she plans on collaborating with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs on a new cultural plan, engaging in ‘creative placemaking’ where artists work on meaningful social projects to improve communities and working with the Westchester Square Business Improvement District.
Charles Rice-González, BCA co-chair, stated that Bianchi’s passion for artists and the arts would elevate BCA’s voice as an artist advocate.
She came to the position from Mindbuilders, another borough-based organization that provides artistic programing, as well as sports activities for youth.
She has extensive non-profit and arts experience in organizations in Florida, Washington D.C. and New York and in her native Argentina, she said.
In Argentina, Bianchi founded her own company, Pegasus Solutions, which provided development, planning and marketing services to clients that included the Argentinian government’s Ministry of Culture and individual artists.
One of her favorite positions during her career, she said, was as project director for the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, a position she held in the 1990s that gave her extensive experience in grantmaking.
She worked as an actress, as well as a film festival producer, she said, and comes from an artistic family.
Her brothers are painters, her mother dabbled in painting and acting and her father published a few collections of stories in Argentina, she said.
BCA’s outgoing executive director, Deirdre Scott, resigned in the fall of 2016, said a spokesman.
After Scott’s departure Barbara Prete temporarily took the organization’s reins.