More than 150 guests attended a recent reception for Cynthia Kanai, new CEO for the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, hosted by the Gardens Board of Trustees. Leadership from area cultural organizations and Gardens supporters had an opportunity to welcome Kanai to her new role as ANSG enters its 41st year.
“The board and I couldn’t have been happier when Cynthia Kanai accepted the CEO position at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens,” said Frances Fisher, Board Chairman for ANSG. “With her strong leadership skills and a personal commitment to excellence, she has the ability to further Ann Norton’s vision for her home and gardens. Cynthia is a lot like Ann Norton in many ways – a visionary woman with a tremendous work ethic and commitment to the community. It’s Cynthia’s commitment to our community that will be an invaluable asset as the Gardens continues its path of exciting growth. Thank you, Cynthia and welcome to your new home away from home.”
Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the courtyard while exploring the Gardens, including the brand-new Educational Classroom in the Harmony Garden, which was designed to be a natural extension of the Gardens native landscaping –offering a valuable opportunity for students to experience a hands-on delivery of informal art and environmental education.
“I am excited to be taking this next step in my career,” said Kanai. “The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens has been making its mark in the cultural community for the last few seasons, and I am privileged to join this incredible organization, which has a strong, positive and dedicated staff. I look forward to working with all of you here today, building new community partnerships and inviting many to our two-acre oasis who haven’t yet walked through its gates.”
Kanai started her new leadership role on September 17 and will report directly to the board of trustees and have general oversight of and responsibility for the financial and physical well-being of all the assets of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, including its landmarked house, gardens, grounds, property and art collection.
Prior to accepting this new leadership role at ANSG, Kanai dedicated 28 years of service to Palm Beach Day Academy – most recently as the Development Director and prior to that, as lead fifth-grade teacher for 25 years. She was responsible for raising $5.5 million for the school’s Great Expectations campaign and spearheaded initiatives to achieve successful donor support for the school’s annual fund, corporate sponsorship and all school fundraising events. She worked directly with the head of school and board of trustees to develop strategic yearly and long-term financial goals and leading a team of three, reached or exceeded those financial goals each of the three years she held the position.
The reception coincided with the Gardens’ Annual Meeting, where leadership detailed the 2018-2019 season of events, exhibitions and programming. Currently on display at ANSG is David Kapp: Crossing the Grid, which extends through December 9, 2018. Kapp is known for expressionistic street scenes, oil paintings that capture the dynamic spirit of the contemporary urban landscape of his native New York City.
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Inc. is a non-profit foundation established in 1977 by resident sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905-1982). An urban sanctuary of almost two acres, the compound comprises Norton’s historic house with exhibition galleries, her studio, monumental sculptures and tropical gardens of rare palms and cycads.
Located at 253 Barcelona Road in the historic El Cid neighborhood of West Palm Beach, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Normal admission is free for members, $15 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors (age 65 and older), $7 for students, and children under five are free. Special event pricing will vary. Gallery and garden exhibition talks are available on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The Gardens are also available for private events and are closed on major holidays. For membership or generalinformation, please visit www.ansg.org or call 561-832-5328.