For more than 30 years, Randall Bourscheidt has held several positions in the management of public arts agencies and private organizations serving the arts.
He was Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for New York City from 1981 to 1987, including a period as Acting Commissioner in 1982-83. As the chief operating officer of the Department of Cultural Affairs, he played an active role in the nearly three-fold increase in New York City’s arts budget in the 1980s. From 1995 to 1998, he was the Chairman of the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs.
After a period as a private arts management consultant, Mr Bourscheidt became President of the Alliance for the Arts in 1989. Under his direction, the Alliance—a nonprofit service organization specializing in research and audience development—published a series of influential reports on the economic impact of the arts in New York City and State and two studies of the effects of the recession on the arts in 2009 and 2010. In 1994, the Alliance established two Web sites to promote cultural access, NYC ARTS and NYCkidsARTS. In 2009, the Alliance published The Hudson Valley: A Cultural Guide.
At the Alliance, Mr Bourscheidt established the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, the first national effort to preserve the work of artists with HIV/AIDS or other life-threatening diseases. Also in the early 1990s, he began a lecture series for world cultural leaders, now the Arts Forum at The New York Times.
An avid lover of music and ballet, Mr Bourscheidt serves on the board of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, the American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet, Moving Theater and the Center for Performance Research. He is Chairman of the Brendan Gill Prize Jury of the Municipal Art Society and a director of Artspace Projects.
Following his graduation from Columbia College in 1969 with a major in history, Mr Bourscheidt was the editor of the newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and Press Secretary to the Chairman of the New York Democratic State Committee. His career in public service began at the Department of City Planning in 1974. After working in the Office of Management and Budget, he became Executive Assistant to Cultural Affairs Commissioner Henry Geldzahler in 1978 before being appointed Deputy Commissioner by Mayor Edward I. Koch.
Mr Bourscheidt has lived in New York City since 1962. He was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and educated in the public schools there.