International Arts and Artists (IA&A), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, is pleased to announce the appointment of Gregory (Greg) Houston as its new President and CEO, effective August 14, 2023. Houston succeeds David Furchgott, who retired after nearly 28 years of leading the organization he founded in 1995.
Houston is an experienced leader and advocate for global education and cultural exchange. He is the founding Executive Director and Board Director of United World Schools USA, a nonprofit organization that supports the development of schools and education programs in remote and marginalized communities around the world. Prior to that, he served as the first Chief Executive Officer of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai (the Dubai World Fair), Global Vice President for External Affairs at Search for Common Ground, Senior Vice President of Programs and External Affairs at Meridian International Center, and the Director of Development and New Initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona. In 2012, he was named a Social Entrepreneurship Fellow at Harvard Business School.
“I am honored and excited to join IA&A as its new CEO,” said Houston. “I have always admired IA&A’s vision and impact in promoting cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally. I look forward to working with the talented team, the Board, and the partners to build on the legacy of David Furchgott and take IA&A to the next level of excellence and impact.”
Furchgott, who will remain involved with IA&A as a Board member and advisor, said: “I am delighted to welcome Greg Houston as IA&A’s new CEO. He is a passionate and visionary leader who shares our commitment to advancing cross-cultural dialogue and artistic expression. I am confident that he will lead IA&A with integrity, creativity, and enthusiasm.”
Juanita Hardy, the Board Chair of IA&A, also expressed her gratitude to Furchgott and her support for Houston. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank David for his remarkable service and dedication to IA&A for nearly three decades. He has been an inspirational leader who has transformed IA&A into a global force for cultural exchange and artistic excellence. We are also thrilled to have Greg join us as our new CEO. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in global education and cultural exchange that will help us expand our reach and impact. We are especially excited about his commitment to strengthening our ties with the Washington, DC, national, and international arts communities, which are all vital partners in our mission.”
IA&A is also preparing to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2025. Since its founding in 1995, IA&A has provided programs and services to artists, arts institutions, cultural organizations, and the public, reaching over 2 million people worldwide.
IA&A’s programs include:
Traveling Exhibition Service: Organizes traveling exhibitions representing all cultures, time periods, styles, and media that are designed for both large and small museums and other cultural institutions in the United States and abroad. Some of the current exhibitions on view are Gateways: African American Art from the Key Collection; Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936-Present; Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass; and Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence.
Cultural Exchange Programs: Provides exchange opportunities and J-1 visa assistance for students, professionals, artists, and researchers from abroad participating in art programs across the United States. IA&A works with leading museums, design firms, art galleries, film and television studios, theaters, and other cultural organizations to ensure the world’s creative leaders of tomorrow have the opportunity to expand their networks and gain hands-on experience in the U.S. Some of the recent participants include ballet dancers from Brazil, a filmmaker from Indonesia, and a ceramic artist from South Africa.
IA&A at Hillyer: Founded in 2006, Hillyer is a contemporary art space in Washington, DC dedicated to supporting emerging and accomplished artists through monthly exhibitions and public programs that engage diverse segments of the community. Exhibitions are organized in response to Hillyer’s annual Call for Artist Proposals, supervised by the Hillyer Director in partnership with the Advisory Committee, and through partnerships with community organizations, embassies, and curators. Ongoing events include exhibition openings on the first Friday of the month, and programs on the second Saturday and third Thursday of the month.
[Source: IA&A Press Release]