In This Section

Fleisher Art Memorial Appoints Elizabeth Grimaldi Executive Director

April 1, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Board of Directors of the Fleisher Art Memorial (Fleisher), the nation’s first community art center, announces the appointment of Elizabeth Grimaldi, Executive Director effective April 1, 2013.   As the executive director of The Village of Arts and Humanities since 2009, Ms. Grimaldi has led a community arts organization that shares Fleisher’s commitment to making art accessible to everyone.


Liz Price, President of the Board of Fleisher said, “Elizabeth Grimaldi is an extraordinarily bright and talented individual whose vast experience in non-profit management and dedication to community arts education is in perfect alignment with Fleisher’s mission and commitment to serving our community.”

Fleisher conducted a comprehensive national search led by Board members and facilitated by Management Consultants for the Arts. A broad range of applications were received from arts managers and non-profit leaders residing in the Philadelphia region as well as those from throughout the country including New York, Chicago and Tucson.


When learning of her appointment, Ms. Grimaldi said, “Sam Fleisher’s initial vision to invite the world to come and learn art is more relevant today than ever -- our ability to nurture creative, inquisitive minds will be what defines the character of our next generation. If art is one of society’s greatest equalizers, then Fleisher is one of Philadelphia’s finest assets -- a space where people of all ages and experiences can come together to discuss, debate, and be challenged. Fleisher is essential to education because it is where people can take risks, express ideas, and shape their minds -- by choice.”

I’m excited to work with the teaching artists and program staff to continue developing progressive art education programs for all skill levels, and I’m thrilled to be joining a deeply committed staff and board -- a team devoted to letting every South Philadelphia household know that Fleisher is a neighbor that cares about them, about learning from their unique life experiences, and about the success of their children.”


Ms. Price added, “Fleisher is deeply committed to playing a leading role in South Philadelphia’s continued development as a vibrant community for all its residents where creative experiences are at the center of community life. Elizabeth’s experience in expanding arts opportunities for youth is extremely valuable as we plan for growth and implement new initiatives. Her work at The Village demonstrates her astute understanding of creative place making. Elizabeth and her family live in South Philadelphia, providing her with an-on-the-ground understanding of the changing demographics in the diverse neighborhoods surrounding Fleisher.”


Under Ms. Grimaldi’s leadership, The Village has developed a Master Campus Plan for its 14 buildings and 12 art parks, increased resources for its youth arts programs and expanded the services it provides to its community in North Philadelphia through incubating a new creative writing center for children, providing job-training programs in construction, opening two new computer labs, and creating three artist residency spaces. The Village also launched CRED magazine, the first citywide publication that features work by artists and writers under the age of 26 from across the region, and created a new environmental education center, PhillyEarth. Her work at The Village has garnered an Impact100 Philadelphia award, two Knight Arts Challenge awards, and most recently, The Village’s role in economic development has been selected for the City’s Business Privilege Tax Credit program - the first arts organization to receive the ten-year $850,000 commitment.


An artist herself, Ms. Grimaldi brings her diverse experience in the arts and knowledge of non-profit arts management to Fleisher. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she has worked and lived in cultural sectors in Barcelona, Rome, Hong Kong and New York. Prior to her tenure with The Village, she was the Director of Development of the acclaimed arts and culture quarterly, Cabinet and held several leadership positions at Studio Incamminati.  She has guest-lectured at Drexel University LeBow College of Business and at Temple University’s School of Environmental Design and has sat on the Community Advisory Committee of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Civic Landscapes Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Steering Committee of the Eastern North Sustainable Community Initiative, among many other roles in the City.


The Fleisher Art Memorial was founded by industrialist Samuel S. Fleisher in 1898 and is renowned for its mission of making art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background or artistic experience.  Fleisher Art Memorial is recognized as the nation’s first community-based art center, providing 17,000 people annually with free and low-cost studio art classes along with opportunities for beginning and seasoned artists to exhibit their work in a professional gallery setting. In the last decade, Fleisher has provided two-hundred arts integrated residencies for over 5,000 students in the Philadelphia School District.  Fleisher’s teaching artists create residencies that enhance students’ learning in science, math, and social studies through projects in a range of media, including photography, mixed media, and stop-motion animation.

Fleisher’s arts education programming reaches deeply into local schools and community centers. Its youth programs have been recognized by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs.

# # # #