Kemi Ilesanmi

Pocantico Committee Member


Kemi Ilesanmi is executive director of The Laundromat Project, which advances artists and neighbors as change agents in their own communities. With 20 years of experience in the cultural arena, she is inspired by the immense possibilities for joyful justice at the intersection of arts and community.

Prior to joining The Laundromat Project, Ms. Ilesanmi was director of grants and services at Creative Capital Foundation, where she supported the work of American artists making adventurous new work. From 1998 to 2004, she was visual arts curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While there, she organized several exhibitions, including The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art, and ran the visual arts residency program.

In 2015, Ms. Ilesanmi was appointed by the Mayor of New York City to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and has served as chair since 2020. Observer included her on the Arts Power 50 list in 2020. She has been honored by the Metropolitan Museum and Project for Empty Space and serves on the boards of the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Smith College Museum of Art, as well as advisory boards for Brooklyn Public Library, Black Arts Future Fund, Indigo Arts Alliance, and WNET All Arts. A graduate of Smith College, NYU, and Coro Leadership NY, Ms. Ilesanmi is also a Sterling network fellow.