Annual Jandon Business of the Arts Distinguished Lecture at Purchase College

Shanta Thake

The Arts Management Department of Purchase College, SUNY, has announced that producer, presenter, and visionary Shanta Thake, the Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer at Lincoln Center will be presented at this year’s Jandon Business of the Arts Distinguished Lecture on Monday, April 17 at 6:30pm. This free, in-person event takes place in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College.


The Arts Management department welcomes Shanta Thake, one of the field’s most innovative performing arts curators and managers, to campus for an in-depth and wide-ranging discussion. Shanta Thake will discuss the role of arts organizations in actively engaging and supporting the communities where the organizations reside while encouraging participants to explore how their own personal values and experiences influence their professional choices.


Shanta Thake is the Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she spearheads all artistic and programming activities.  Since her start in the fall of 2021, Shanta has been key to Lincoln Center’s ongoing efforts to ensure the arts are central to the civic life of the city—welcoming new audiences, championing genres historically underrepresented on campus, and ushering in accessible ticket models to break down cost barriers.  Known for her work across disciplines, Shanta leads a team of curators to bring exciting emerging and established artists to Lincoln Center’s indoor and outdoor stages, and spearheads multi-genre collaborations with Lincoln Center’s resident organizations. 


Prior to Lincoln Center, Shanta held the position of Associate Artistic Director/Director of Artistic Programs at The Public Theater, overseeing the growth and development of Public Works, Mobile Unit, Under the Radar, Joe’s Pub, The Shakespeare Initiative and Public Forum.  Previously, she spent 10 years as the Director of Joe’s Pub, the intimate cabaret venue which hosts over 700 shows annually. Shanta is the co-director of GlobalFEST, North America’s world music festival, and in this role received the William Dawson award for Programmatic Excellence. She received a BA in theater as well as a degree in management from Indiana University and currently lives in Brooklyn.


Dr. Milagros (Milly) Peña, President of Purchase College, said, “At Purchase College, we encourage our students to find innovative ways of using their talents and skills for the benefit of their communities and the wider public. This year’s annual Jandon Business of the Arts lecturer, Shanta Thake, is a wonderful example of this kind of mission-based programming, having spent her career curating and presenting programs that are accessible and relevant to those she serves. We look forward to hearing from her as she inspires a new generation of arts leaders.”


For updates and to register for the event, please visit


Purchase College would like to recognize and thank Jane and Donald Cecil, previously of Harrison, and their representatives, for their generous gift that created this Jandon Business of the Arts Distinguished Lecture Series.