Michele Thompson was named director of 92YTribeca in January 2009, just after its opening in October 2008. As director, Michele oversees both the programming and operations of 92nd Street Y’s downtown venue, which offers a full palate of concerts, classes, talks, comedy and storytelling, film and food events, and an ongoing series of Jewish community and holiday programs.
To create vibrant, eclectic, and smart cultural programs that encourage participation and conversation, Michele works with 92YTribeca’s professional curatorial team and with a diverse roster of partners, from local artists and arts organizations to new-media companies and cause-based organizations. In its first two years, 92YTribeca welcomed 60,000 ticket buyers and class participants to its more than 700 events; countless others have enjoyed the free gallery exhibitions, the neighborhood CSA and 92YTribeca’s cafe. The cafe, which offers fresh, inventive dishes made with locally sourced, kosher dairy ingredients, has become a “go to” place for food, drinks and hanging out with friends.
Michele has more than 20 years of experience in education and cultural administration, fundraising and external relations at leading cultural organizations, including Trisha Brown Dance Company, Carnegie Hall, American Ballet Theater, and Vanderbilt University. As Executive Director of Trisha Brown Dance Company, she oversaw all functions of the touring dance company, operations for a 16,000-square-foot studio facility, and negotiated contracts that included major opera and dance commissions, large scale art exhibitions, and the dancers’ multi-year collective bargaining agreement. She also directed fundraising operations resulting in a $1 million cash reserve, the largest in the Company’s history. Prior to being appointed executive director of TBDC, Michele was in the Development Office at Carnegie Hall where she directed a comprehensive annual giving effort in addition to being responsible for general departmental administration and overseeing a staff of fourteen. At American Ballet Theater, she served as associate director of Development and director of Major Gifts. Michele worked at Vanderbilt University for more than nine years in development and alumni affairs as well as serving in similar roles at Columbia University and St. Bernard’s School.
She holds a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration, with a concentration in Institutional Advancement, from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and English, also from Vanderbilt.