THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM named Chakshu Patel director of institutional advancement today. She is charged with developing a fundraising strategy to support the ambitious mission and vision of the museum, which recently celebrated 50 years by embarking on a new building project. Patel will begin her new position June 17.

“I am excited to be joining the Studio Museum at this important moment in its history, and to work alongside Thelma Golden and the entire Museum staff to further solidify the Museum’s place as a premier center for contemporary artists of African descent, locally, nationally and globally,” Patel said in a statement.

Patel joins the museum after an 11-year tenure at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), where she most recently served as vice president in the strategy office.

Previously, in her role as PPFA’s national director of foundation relations and donor communications, she focused on raising funds for key initiatives. Under Patel’s leadership, the museum said, the department realized marked growth in revenue and personnel.

Before joining PPFA, she was an attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and also worked in private practice. Patel earned a JD from New York University School of Law.

“I am excited to be joining the Studio Museum at this important moment in its history, and to work alongside Thelma Golden and the entire Museum staff to further solidify the Museum’s place as a premier center for contemporary artists of African descent.” — Chakshu Patel

THE MUSEUM IS BUILDING a new home at its current site on 125th Street. Designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, the building is expected to open in 2021.

The campaign to fund its construction is the largest in the museum’s history. The $175 million campaign was launched to meet construction costs, provide an operating and capital reserve fund, and build the museum’s endowment. In addition to public and private commitments, the museum partnered with Sotheby’s to grow the building fund. With works donated by 42 artists, the museum’s Creating Space auction raised $20.2 million in May 2018.

The museum said the campaign had “proceeded strongly” and that Patel is expected to build on its success.

“I am thrilled to welcome Chakshu Patel in this crucial leadership role,” Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden said when the announcement was made.

“Her entire career has been defined by her commitment to social justice and to increasing access and opportunity. I know the passion she brings to her work at the Studio Museum will be as important to us as her broad institutional perspective and her diverse, extensive experience, which has encompassed development, management, program design, and strategy.” CT

 

IMAGE: Chakshu Patel. | Photo by Victoria Engblom, Courtesy Studio Museum in Harlem

 

BOOKSHELF
The catalog “Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem” documents the museum’s current six-venue touring exhibition, which features more than 100 works of art from its collection.

 

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