Jeff Nathanson, 11-year executive director of Arts Council of Princeton, to step down

The Arts Council of Princeton announced yesterday that after a successful 11-year tenure, Executive Director, Jeff Nathanson, will step down from this position at the end of 2016. He will continue to lead the nearly 50-year old Princeton community arts organization while a search is conducted for his successor.

“Jeff has been an outstanding leader not just for the arts community, but for the Greater Princeton community as a whole,” said Arts Council of Princeton Board of Trustees President, Ted Deutsch. “His in-depth experience in arts program development and management helped the organization dramatically expand and improve its arts-related offerings over the past decade. At the same time, he has kept the ACP focused on its historic mission to serve the local community through free, accessible and inclusive events and scholarship programs for children and families. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Nathanson came to the Arts Council in 2005 after leading the International Sculpture Center and providing curatorial and project management for the Princeton University Art Museum, International Schools Services and the Princeton Public Library. During his eleven years the Arts Council:

  • Tripled its operating budget from $450,000 to over $1.7 million.
  • Raised $10.5 million to complete a major renovation and expansion of its home in the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts on Witherspoon Street.
  • Received Citations of Excellence and designation as a Major Arts Service and Presentation Organization in nine consecutive years from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts as well as numerous awards and recognitions for its exhibition and education programs.
  • Quadrupled its free community programing to serve tens of thousands of members of the Greater Princeton community each year, including:

o   Expansion of ArtReach, providing free afterschool art experiences to over 125 children weekly through partnerships with the YMCA/Princeton Young Achievers and Princeton Nursery School.

o   Expansion of the ArtsExchange program serving students through a partnership with HomeFront of Trenton.

o   Expansion of programs serving the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood including the establishment of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Stories Project.

o   Creation of a public art program that has produced murals and sculpture projects in the Princeton community.

o   Creation of a performing arts program that has thrived on presentation of regional talent and through partnerships with the Princeton University Jazz Program, Princeton Symphony Orchestra and many others.

o   Expansion of the success and scope of Communiversity ArtsFest.

o   Establishment of long lasting, meaningful partnerships with the Princeton Public Library, Princeton University Art Museum, Morven Museum, Historical Society of Princeton and many others.

In addition, Nathanson has provided leadership in the establishment of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Arts and Business Alliance, for which he serves as chair. He has received numerous awards for his efforts in the arts and arts education including the 2011 NJ Governor’s Award for Excellence in Arts Education and the New Jersey Arts Educator’s John Pappas Award.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead the Arts Council of Princeton through a time of dynamic growth and change. I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved through the hard work and support of our staff, board, volunteers and donors during these past eleven years,” said Nathanson. “The timing is right for me to move on to new challenges, and I look forward to helping achieve a smooth transition over the next seven months.”

The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in the visual, performing and literary arts. The Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population in the greater Princeton region.

For more information, visit or call609.924.8777.


About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida