Madison Square Park Conservancy's President Steps Down

By Heather Holland on November 21, 2013 5:26pm 

FLATIRON — The president and founder of the Madison Square Park Conservancy is stepping down from her post next month.

Debbie Landau will leave the organization by mid-December after helping to found it in 2002 and leading it for the past 12 years, the conservancy said Thursday. 

“It has been an honor and privilege to oversee Madison Square Park’s transformation from its days as a derelict space into the vibrant, active park that it is today,” Landau said in a written statement. “I am proud of the great accomplishments made over the last dozen years.”

The conservancy, which runs cultural programs in the park, did not immediately give a reason for Landau's departure but said she would continue working with artists and museums to create public art exhibits in the future.

During Landau's tenure, the conservancy commissioned works by prominent international artists to show in the park, including Antony Gormley, Sol LeWitt, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Roxy Paine and recently Orly Genger — who created a large-scale exhibit called "Red, Yellow and Blue" featuring colorful sculptures made of 1.4 million feet of hand-knotted rope.

In addition, Landau led the conservancy's fundraising, design and construction efforts to open the park’s Shake Shack in 2003 and 2004.

Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Keats Myer will remain the organization's executive director, leading the conservancy after Landau's departure.

Myer previously led the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and the Children’s Museum of the Arts, where she directed strategic planning, capital fundraising and the design of new, larger locations, according to the conservancy.

“Madison Square is a place where people come together to relax, to experience art and music [and] to simply connect,” Myer said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be part of the conservancy’s second decade of growth.”

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