Justin Garrett Moore Named Inaugural Program Officer for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Effort to Bring More Voices into Public Spaces

headshot Justin Garrett Moore. Photo by Dario Calmese.

NEW YORK, NY, DECEMBER 3, 2020 – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced Justin Garrett Moore as the inaugural program officer for its new Humanities in Place program area. He will join the Foundation on December 16, 2020.

In this role, Moore will lead the implementation of the Foundation’s programmatic strategic plan in Humanities in Place, which seeks to bring a variety of histories and voices into public, media, museum, and memorial spaces, widening the range of complex public storytelling. He will also partner with the Foundation’s president to shape and lead the Foundation’s Monuments Project—a five-year, $250 million commitment to reshape the US’s commemorative landscape. 

“Justin’s design and planning work is generous, creative, and geared toward impact.  His work has resulted in truly transformative public spaces,” said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. “He is an innovative, collaborative designer and educator who prioritizes the power of public design to help solve major challenges. I look forward to working with him as we move forward to broaden our commemorative and cultural landscapes and public storytelling.”

Moore currently serves as Executive Director of the City of New York Public Design Commission, where since 2016 he has foregrounded quality urban design for New York’s public projects while encouraging sustainability, accessibility, diversity, and equity in New York's public buildings, landscapes, and art.

As Program Officer for Humanities in Place, Moore intends to further the Mellon Foundation’s work to broaden and deepen the range of how and where the stories of our histories and communities are told across public experiences as varied as built environments, digital platforms, and ephemeral programs. “From public spaces and art to innovative institutions and initiatives, places have the power to bring people together and promote greater understanding and inclusion,” said Justin Garrett Moore. “The Humanities in Place program creates an opportunity to amplify long-marginalized voices and bring new resources to diverse environments. By grounding this work in the Foundation’s focus on social justice and by embracing complexity and difference in communities, I look forward to engaging the people, partnerships, and ideas needed to transform and care for our places and experiences.”          

Prior to the Public Design Commission, Moore was Senior Urban Designer for the New York City Department of City Planning for more than a decade. There he led complex planning and design projects, including the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Waterfront, Hunter’s Point South, and the Brooklyn Cultural District. His work spans housing and community development, place and open space design, historic preservation, public art and monuments, and civic engagement and participation. 

"During his tenure at the Public Design Commission, Justin worked tirelessly and creatively to ensure that New York City's public design embodies our values of inclusiveness and fairness," said New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been.  “While we will miss working with such a wonderful colleague, we look forward to how he will further advance equity and diversity in public spaces with this new Andrew W. Mellon Foundation role.”

Moore received degrees in both architecture and urban design from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he is also an adjunct associate professor of architecture in the urban design and urban planning programs. He has also taught at Yale, Tuskegee, and Morgan State University, and has lectured widely.  A member of the American Planning Association's AICP Commission, the Urban Design Forum, and on the boards of IOBY, BlackSpace, and the Youth Design Center, Moore is also the co-Founder of Urban Patch, a social enterprise that focuses on community development and design. 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.


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