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Martin Kagan | PACE UNIVERSITY

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"Hollywood Soapbox" featured Pace's executive director of the Schimmel Center, Martin Kagan in "INTERVIEW: Crossing Bridges Music Fest celebrates Americana"

05/08/2019

"Hollywood Soapbox" featured Pace's executive director of the Schimmel Center, Martin Kagan in "INTERVIEW: Crossing Bridges Music Fest celebrates Americana"

What attracted you to join the inaugural Crossing Bridges Music Fest?

After the success of a concert I helped to produce and curate called If These Walls Could Talk, A Celebration of the Life and Times of The Bottom Line, the executive director of [the] Schimmel Center, Martin Kagan, asked me, ‘What else would you be interested in doing?’

I felt that we needed a mid-level music festival in NYC [that] was aimed at a sophisticated audience. There are lots of entertainment options [in] NYC, and this would be a very cool option for those who are not necessarily interested in camping out or committing to a road trip.

[The] Schimmel Center is the perfect size and has an intimacy which gives the audience an especially close connection to performing artists.

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"New York Nonprofit Media" featured Pace University's Assistant Vice President of Cultural Affairs Martin Kagan speaking about the Schimmel Center in "Nonprofits are getting their cut from Met Museum admissions And other updates from across New York."

03/19/2019

"New York Nonprofit Media" featured Pace University's Assistant Vice President of Cultural Affairs Martin Kagan speaking about the Schimmel Center in "Nonprofits are getting their cut from Met Museum admissions And other updates from across New York."

Two nonprofit leaders appeared on the WBAI Radio’s “City Watch.”

Arts was on the minds of guests on a March 17 episode of the program, hosted by Jeff Simmons of Anat Gerstein. Ballet Hispánico Artistic Director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro, and Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone appeared on the program, as well as City Councilman Francisco Moya and Pace University Assistant Vice President of Cultural Martin Kagan.

Read the article here.

Listen to Martin Kagan's interview here.

Interview begins at 40:43.

 

 

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"Our Town" featured Assistant Vice President of Cultural Affairs at the Schimmel Center for the Arts Martin Kagan in "The man behind the scenes"

05/01/2018

"Our Town" featured Assistant Vice President of Cultural Affairs at the Schimmel Center for the Arts Martin Kagan in "The man behind the scenes"

You might not know the name Martin Kagan, but you’re probably familiar with the performing artists he brings to the stage.

“I’ve always felt a kindred spirit to what I see onstage,” says Kagan, the Assistant Vice President of Cultural Affairs at the Schimmel Center for the Arts. “Not being an artist, where I get true satisfaction is knowing that when I sit in the audience — and I see every performance — I’ve been responsible to make that happen.”

This year, Kagan has a lot to take pride in. He’s the driving force behind bringing internationally acclaimed artists to the Schimmel Center, an intimate performing arts venue at Pace University. Upcoming highlights this spring include a performance by Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan, Persian and Turkish improvisationalists with devoted fans across the globe, and a new musical about confronting gun violence in America performed by the acclaimed Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra.

Manhattan’s cultural offerings are an embarrassment of riches any given night of the week, and Kagan’s vision has helped position the Schimmel Center and Pace University, where Kagan teaches a class in arts and entertainment management, as a growing cultural force in Lower Manhattan. But ultimately, says Kagan, his job is not about him.

“Our goal is to make the artists look the best possible they can. It’s all about the artist,” he says.

From dance, cabaret and music to lectures and comedy, Kagan approaches the process of creating the perfect performing arts season with precision and insight. He begins planning over a year out, and sees artists live or on YouTube before making any decisions.

“I try to find attractions that are unique each season, ones that have artistic integrity,” says Kagan. “You feel very close to the artists [at the Schimmel] and it’s one of the things that both the audience and the artists love about the space. It’s warm, it’s welcoming, it’s intimate.”

When asked to pick his favorite performance, Kagan pulls no punches: “Everything we do I think is spectacular,” he says. “I try not to have favorites. They’re like children, they’re all my favorites.”

The most important part of the job? Building trust with the audience.

“I’ve had many years working in different venues, but that has been key. Not only that I provide an environment for the artist, but that I also provide an audience to feel comfortable, and to want to come back and have the confidence to see things they may not be interested in because I’m presenting,” he says.

Kagan finds excitement in the diversity of experiences his position offers, and it’s a path he encourages others to follow.

Says Kagan, “It’s a full life. No day is ever the same.”

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