Matt Distel Appointed Executive Director of The Carnegie

TC_Matt DistelAfter 9+ Years as The Carnegie’s Exhibitions Director, Distel will undertake a new role as the organization’s leader

COVINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2023) – The Carnegie has announced the appointment of Matt Distel as its next Executive Director.

An accomplished curator and arts administrator, Matt Distel brings nearly 30 years of experience to the Executive Director position. Distel is stepping into this new role with a long history at The Carnegie and a decorated career leading community-centered arts organizations.

Distel first joined The Carnegie staff as its Exhibitions Director in 2013 and has been organizing exhibitions since 1994—with a particular focus on artists from the region. Prior to joining The Carnegie, Distel held curatorial roles at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center as well as served as Executive Director of Visionaries + Voices in Cincinnati and HVCCA in Peekskill, NY. He was also the co-founder and director of Country Club, a commercial gallery based in Cincinnati and Los Angeles.

Notably, Distel has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and installations including projects with SIMPARCH, Kendell Geers, Temporary Services, The Yes Men, Beth Campbell, Alexis Rockman, Jay Bolotin, Future Retrieval, Terry Berlier, Design 99, Courttney Cooper, Ryan McGinness, Ellen Berkenblit, Edie Harper, Tom Wesselmann and Atlas Group.

“We feel very fortunate that Matt will be our next Executive Director,” said Jamie Horn, Carnegie Board President. “We have an exceptionally strong team at The Carnegie—and Matt has been a foundational member of the staff for nearly a decade. I am certain The Carnegie will thrive under Matt’s leadership and believe he will usher in a dynamic era for the organization.”

The Carnegie is a three-tiered organization and Distel’s new role as Executive Director oversees each department: Gallery, Education and Theatre. Under his direction as Exhibitions Director, The Carnegie Galleries expanded its mission while deepening local relationships. In an effort to generate opportunities for regional artists, Distel experimented with several exhibition models that nurtured connections between guest curators, writers, gallerists and fellow artists. The Carnegie’s most recent FotoFocus exhibition These Things Are Connected beautifully illustrates Distel’s philosophy: he brought together five curators working inside and outside of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region to select and develop projects based on linking artists across different geographies. In the same way, The Carnegie Galleries prioritizes connecting artists with a range of curatorial voices that provides new contexts for their work—an effort that subsequently nurtures the region’s vibrant and growing art community.

“Since my very first experiences in the art world nearly 30 years ago, I have always worked to amplify regional voices of both the performing and visual artists—and believe that a vibrant art community’s impact reaches beyond a single studio, stage or classroom.” Distel added “I’m honored to continue building upon the successes established by previous Executive Directors Kim Best and Katie Brass. Thanks to my predecessors, especially Kim’s Capital Campaign initiative, The Carnegie will continue to connect artists to each other and communities beyond our region.”

Distel’s appointment follows some major milestones for the organization, including The Carnegie’s inaugural Summer Theatre Series and the successful production of Singin’ in the Rain. The Theatre’s new season format led by Tyler Gabbard produced significant growth in audience and record sales for the organization. Under the guidance of Alissa Paasch, The Carnegie’s Education department has also seen a notable expansion in recent years, facilitating in-school arts integration programming in Covington school systems and beyond—plus on-site programming in their Eva G. Farris Education Center.

In conjunction with Matt Distel’s appointment, The Carnegie will also be announcing their search for a Development Director. This position will be pivotal in securing ongoing financial support and facilitating organizational growth.

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About The Carnegie 
The Carnegie is Northern Kentucky’s largest multidisciplinary arts venue providing theatre events, educational programs and art exhibitions to the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati community. The Carnegie facility is home to The Carnegie Galleries, the Otto M. Budig Theatre, and the Eva G. Farris Education Center. More information about The Carnegie is available at or by calling (859) 491-2030.

The Carnegie is supported by the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. The Carnegie receives ongoing operating support from the Kentucky Arts Council, City of Covington, Kenton County Fiscal Courts, Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and Cincinnati International Wine Festival.


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