About Janet

Janet Langsam

Janet T. Langsam

Janet T. Langsam is the CEO of ArtsWestchester, an organization that financially and promotionally supports all of the arts in Westchester County through government, corporate and institutional partnerships. During her 33-year tenure, Ms. Langsam, an artist and journalist, has helped grow the organization from a $1 million agency to a nearly $7 million agency and has made the arts more visible, diverse, and accessible for Westchester County residents. As CEO, Ms. Langsam advocates for funding, supports local artists and cultural organizations, champions the county’s arts community and reports on the economic impact of the arts. 

Among her many achievements as CEO of ArtsWestchester, Ms. Langsam spearheaded the purchase and reimagining of an abandoned historic bank building into an arts incubator for artists, architects and creative businesses in White Plains, NY.  As a proponent of public art, Ms. Langsam recently collaborated with the N.Y. Thruway Authority to commission sculptures and murals for the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and also installed 20 works of public art in the City of White Plains during the 2022 five-day Serious Fun Arts Fest. In her career, she has fostered artist residencies in schools, housing projects, mental health facilities and developed contemporary art installations in hospitals, shopping centers and housing developments. She has been named amongst 914 INC’s Most Influential Women and Top CEOs of Westchester. 

Prior to her current position, Ms. Langsam served as President and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts and held positions in three NYC Mayoral Administrations (Mayors John Lyndsay, Abraham Beame and Ed Koch). As Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, she convened the first meeting in 1978 of the cultural leaders of the fifty largest US cities, which became the USUAF. As Assistant Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development, she pioneered the conversion of city-owned vacant properties to cultural sites and artist housing. A Queens native, and former Chairman of Planning Board 7, Langsam was instrumental in getting the Queens Museum off the ground and funded in Flushing Meadows Park, (Queens was the only borough at that time without an art museum). She is both a founder and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Museum. She holds a Master’s degree from New York University’s Graduate School of Public Administration.

Ms. Langsam studied painting in the 1960’s at NYU where two artists were fundamental in the development of her artistic practice: Gregorio Prestopino, known for his New York Figurative Expressionism, and Leo Manso, an abstract painter and collagist. Langsam has shown her own abstract paintings in various New York City galleries.

Ms. Langsam was honored for her arts leadership in 2020 by the national Americans for the Arts (AFTA).