Brooklyn Academy of Music has a new president steering the ship, but it’s not a new face to the organization.

Gina Duncan was named as the new leader of BAM on Tuesday, taking over the role from interim presidents Coco Killingsworth, Elizabeth Moreau and Jennifer Anglade.

The move marks a return to BAM for Duncan, who previously served as its first vice president of film and strategic programming. Under her leadership, the organization’s repertory programming began centering underrepresented voices in cinema and was recognized as a “vital” part of the New York film landscape by The New York Times, and its film program flourished, BAM said in a press release.

During the first six months of the pandemic, Duncan also served as interim head of Marketing and Communications and led BAM’s curatorial team in transitioning to programs online to reach audiences across the nation.

She left BAM in September 2020 to join the Sundance Institute where she served as producing director, responsible for producing the Sundance Film Festival online and in-person, as well as managing the Institute’s year-round operations.

Duncan said in a statement that she was grateful for the opportunity to return to BAM in the new role, and said she was “confident that we are positioned to keep BAM a vital and visible cultural arts institution for another 160 years and beyond.”

“Celebrating BAM’s rich legacy while invigorating and elevating the forward-thinking, distinctive programming in service to our community of artists and adventurous audiences is an honor,” she said.

BAM Board Chair Nora Ann Wallace, who made the announcement, said Duncan had “extraordinary leadership skills” that she exemplified during her four years steering BAM’s film and strategic programming initiatives.

“She has the ability to bring people together toward clear goals and she understands that BAM must always evolve in order to nurture new audiences and champion innovative programming,” Wallace said.

“We are excited to have her back and look forward to working with her once again.”

BAM executives Coco Killingsworth, Elizabeth Moreau and Jennifer Anglade have been serving as co-interim presidents of the organization since Feb. 2021, when former president Katy Clark left to become executive director of The Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation.

Killingsworth said in a statement that leading the institution over the last year had revealed “so many incredible opportunities for collaboration and growth, and we are all thrilled to continue to do this work with Gina’s guidance.”

Moreau said that Duncan’s vision for strategic programming and perseverance proved instrumental to BAM’s audience and artist engagement during the onset of COVID,
“demonstrating leadership at the highest level.” Anglade added that the team looked forward to “reinforcing BAM’s foundation together,” and building “a meaningful and forward-facing organization.”

“We begin to write this new chapter in BAM’s extraordinary legacy with a president who epitomizes trust, grit, and strategic thinking.”

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