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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Valerie G. Lewis Named Executive Director of Third Street Music School Settlement

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Valerie G. Lewis Named Executive Director of Third Street Music School Settlement

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Apr 28, 2014
New York, NY

The Third Street Music School Settlement has announced that it has selected Valerie G. Lewis as its fifteenth executive director since its founding in 1894.

Lewis comes to Third Street with outstanding experience in music education, community arts programming and not-for-profit development. For the past five years, she served as executive director of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy (BYCA), where she led a period of growth and expansion that has taken BYCA to new heights as both a premier music academy and a pioneering artistic presenter.
"I am so pleased to join the extraordinary team at Third Street Music School Settlement and look forward to building on this institution’s rich history and success in providing access to the highest level of arts education," said Lewis, who will begin in her new post on June 2. "I look forward to working with the families, faculty, staff and board to strengthen and advance Third Street as it proudly enters its 120th anniversary year and beyond.”
A native New Yorker, Ms. Lewis began her career in government affairs and communications, and went on to join the Alliance for Downtown New York, where she spent 11 years developing, presenting and marketing dynamic arts programming for the Lower Manhattan community.  She is a proud founder of the River to River Festival, which in the wake of 9/11, harnessed the power of music, dance and visual arts to revitalize Downtown New York. 
Lewis graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Delaware and earned a Master’s of Public Administration at CUNY’s Baruch College. She replaces Third Street’s previous executive director, Lee Koonce. 
“As Third Street welcomes its 120th anniversary, it is moving boldly into the future with exciting and visionary plans to improve its space and expand its programs. Valerie brings tremendous skill, energy and commitment to this future,” said Vincent C. Perro, chair of Third Street’s board of directors. “The board looks forward to working closely with Valerie, the school’s leadership team and families to achieve Third Street’s goals of access and excellence for its students, for the diverse communities it serves, and as a national leader in community arts education.”
About Third Street Music School Settlement
As the oldest community school of music in the nation, Third Street Music School Settlement has provided outstanding music, dance and visual arts instruction, regardless of financial resources or ability, since 1894. Third Street delivers instruction to nearly 4,000 students of all ages at its main school and 25 school and community center partnerships.  Nearly half of all students benefit from more than $750,000 in need-based financial aid, merit-based scholarships and free offerings each year.  Third Street presents more than 250 free concerts and recitals each year.
Pictured Above: Valerie G. Lewis

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