Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Names Shanta Thake as Chief Artistic Officer

By Chris Ruel
(Photo credit: Gregory Kramer)

Shanta Thake will take the helm as Lincoln Center’s first Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer, replacing Jane Moss who held the position of Artistic Director for 26 years before stepping down in 2020. The new position replaces that of Artistic Director.

With Lincoln Center entering a new phase of artistic endeavors, Thake will oversee several high-visibility projects with the goal of bringing the arts into the daily lives of New Yorkers. The launch of the accelerated opening of Geffen Hall in 2022 after a major overhaul of the performance space is at the top of the to-do list, along with managing program decisions with staff and guest curators. As a champion of raising the profiles of underrepresented artists, Thake will work to ensure the organization fosters a culture of diversity, openness, and inclusivity. Existing initiatives that have activated the 16-acre campus in new ways, including Restart Stages and The GREEN, will also fall under her purview.

In the statement released by Lincoln Center, Henry Timms, President & CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, said, “Shanta Thake has made an extraordinary career celebrating and cultivating diverse talent from across the city and the world, and we are so pleased to count her as our Chief Artistic Officer. She will be an exceptional ambassador for Lincoln Center and the arts, the keystone in a leadership team that will shepherd Lincoln Center into a new era—as a hub for culture and civic life for all of New York and a symbol of the excellence and resilience of our city.”

Thake comes to the organization after serving as Associate Artistic Director of The Public Theater. During her tenure, she spearheaded such key initiatives as Public Works, Mobile Unite, Under the Radar, Joes Pub, the Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Public Forum. Currently, Thake serves as the co-director of Global FEST, North America’s global music festival. For her work fostering cultural exchange and increasing world music’s visibility across communities in the U.S., she was awarded the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence.