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Hannah Frieser Joins CNY Arts as New Director of Grants and Programs

Hannah Frieser Bio, CNY Arts New Director of Grants and ProgramsCNY Arts is excited to welcome our newest member to the team, Hannah Frieser. She will fulfil the role as the agency's new Director of Grants and Programs formerly held by Liz Lane. All of us at CNY Arts wishes Liz the best as she moves into a new chapter in her life. She will be missed by many in Central New York.

Hannah Frieser is a curator, writer and arts administrator with extensive knowledge of modern and contemporary art practices. She has curated and organized exhibitions with leading contemporary photographers such as Don Gregorio Antón, Alexander Gronsky, Meryl Meisler, Pipo Nguyen­duy, Angelika Rinnhofer, Kanako Sasaki, and Shen Wei, as well as expanded art projects for Barry Anderson, Adam Magyar, and Suzanne Opton.

She is a frequent lecturer on photography and contemporary photographic practices, whose essays have been featured in publications such as Contact Sheet, exposure, Daylight, and Nueva Luz, and in monographs for Susan kae Grant, David Taylor and more.

 Frieser has made a name for herself with a passion for the arts, her collaborative spirit, and her unwavering commitment to diversity and equity. Prior to joining the staff at CNY Arts as Director of Grants and Programs, Frieser was the executive director for the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) for over six years. 

Working closely with the staff, board of directors and community stakeholders, she streamlined fiscal oversight, oversaw the revitalization of their historic main building and the purchase of an artist house dedicated to their residency program for artists. She also initiated signature programs for emerging and underrepresented artists, such as the Professional Practices Artist Network (PPAN) and programming such as the 2020 social justice symposium, Race, Activism and Photography, featuring keynote speaker Carrie Mae Weems.

She led CPW through the pandemic with responsive programming such as Virtual Handshake meetings with over 200 artists, hybrid exhibitions that were viewable online as well as in the gallery, and extensive online programming including portfolio reviews, lectures and virtual gallery tours.

Before her time in Woodstock, Frieser was the director of Light Work in Syracuse, NY, for almost nine years. While at Light Work, Frieser co-chaired the 2010 SPE National Conference, “Facing Diversity: Leveling the Playing Field in the Photographic Arts. 

Frieser was a founding member of the Senior Vice President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion and a member of the Humanities Center Advisory Board at Syracuse University. She further served as member and chair of the Visual Arts Grant Review Panel for the New York State Council on the Arts.

Frieser holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Studio Arts with a major in Photography from Texas Woman’s University, where she closed with a thesis exhibition on cross-cultural heritage, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies including photography, photojournalism and graphic design from the University of Texas at Arlington. She was born and raised in Germany to a German father from Dresden and a Mexican-American mother from Dallas.