People / Staff

Ken Tabachnick

Executive Director

Ken Tabachnick has a broad background and experience in the arts. He originally trained as a lighting designer, and worked with Trisha Brown, Robert Wilson, Beverly Emmons, New York City Opera, Live from Lincoln Center, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Bolshoi and Kirov companies, and Stephen Petronio, for whom he continues to light, amongst others. In the 1990s, Ken was responsible for corporate fundraising and producing the IFP Gotham Awards while he attended law school. In 1996 he received his J.D. from Fordham Law School and then had his own law practice specializing in intellectual property, licensing, and other matters related to the arts. During this period, he also served as general counsel for Rising Tide Studios and was the managing member of indieWIRE LLC, a news publisher focused on the independent film sector. In 2004 he was appointed general manager of New York City Ballet, where he oversaw operations until 2010. Subsequently, Ken was dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College, SUNY, and then deputy dean at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Prior to joining the Trust, he was a senior associate with AEA Consulting, specializing in strategic planning for arts and cultural organizations. Ken is a former trustee of the Stephen Petronio Company (treasurer), Dance USA (vice-chair and committee chair) the Hemsley Lighting Programs (where he is still treasurer), and Westbeth Artists’ Housing (vice-chair), which housed the Cunningham studio for many years. Ken holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo and teaches regularly.