New York City Ballet appeals to Diana Taylor to lead its board of directors

Appointing a new leader to guide the business in its long-awaited reopening, the New York City Ballet voted to endorse Diana L. Taylor –...


Appointing a new leader to guide the business in its long-awaited reopening, the New York City Ballet voted to endorse Diana L. Taylor – a finance executive and partner of former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg – as new chair of its board of directors, the company said on Wednesday.

Ms. Taylor will be the first woman to take on this role in the company’s 73-year history.

As Mr Bloomberg’s companion throughout her three terms as mayor, Ms Taylor has served typical First Lady functions (such as attending City Ballet galas) while also pursuing her own career within the government and finance. During Mr. Bloomberg’s tenure, she served as Superintendent of New York State Banking Services in the administration of Governor George E. Pataki, then Managing Director of a private equity firm.

When it comes to dancing, Ms Taylor recalls that her parents had a City Ballet membership and that she would attend with her mother, but the involvement in the art form is mostly new to her.

“I have always loved ballet; I don’t know much about it, but I liked it, ”Ms. Taylor said in an interview. “I have never really been involved in the arts except as a spectator.

Mr Bloomberg, meanwhile, was known as an arts-oriented mayor, mainly because of his personal gifts. During his tenure he donated over $ 200 million to arts and social service groups in the city. (City ballet lists Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of its mid-level donors, having contributed between $ 25,000 and $ 49,999 during this fiscal year.)

It came as a surprise to Ms Taylor when a member of the City Ballet’s search committee approached her to ask if she would be interested in the job.

“I practically fell off my chair and said, ‘Well, why me? »», She declared. “I went back and thought about it and said, ‘Wow, what a great experience’. It’s such a respected ballet company; it is one of the oldest in the world; it is the arts and culture in New York that are going to be so important in bringing us back from the pandemic. “

Ms Taylor’s experience in nonprofit finance and leadership has undoubtedly interested City Ballet as it seeks to recover from the pandemic, which has led to the cancellation of four consecutive seasons and the 2020 “The Nutcracker”. In a press release, the outgoing chairman of the board, Charles W. Scharf, called Ms. Taylor a “great business leader” and “the ideal person to lead and guide the company into a prosperous future.”

Mrs. Taylor – who briefly contemplated a race for civil service – adds this role to a list of other board positions on his resume, including at Citigroup and Accion, a non-profit microfinance organization.

Leading the City Ballet at this point will involve advising the company on many issues related to the pandemic, including decisions regarding mask warrants and testing protocols as the season progresses. City Ballet says it lost about $ 50 million in earned income due to the pandemic, but Ms Taylor said the company entered the pandemic on a solid financial footing and remained “in fairly good shape” afterwards. have reduced costs and adjusted to pandemic restrictions.

The City Ballet is scheduled to return to the stage on September 21 with a program featuring “Serenade” by George Balanchine.

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Newsrust - US Top News: New York City Ballet appeals to Diana Taylor to lead its board of directors
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