At its annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20, the board of trustees of Nassau County Museum of Art elected Peter Tilles as its next president. A resident of Matinecock, Mr. Tilles is one of the region's most prominent developers. He is equally esteemed for his contributions to the cultural life and environmental beautification of Long Island.
A member of the museum's board of trustees for six years, Mr. Tilles was most recently a board vice president. As president, Tilles says he will be working with the board and staff "to define the goals and aspirations for the future of the museum."
Mr. Tilles has been in the forefront of planning for the museum's expansion, a project that will bring the facility to first-class national status. Now set for an October 2009 groundbreaking, the expansion of the Roslyn Harbor-based institution will create new gallery space, a 160-seat state-of-the-art auditorium for use by the public and by the thousands of school children who visit the museum each year, an indoor/outdoor café and a larger gift shop. Among the most important impacts of these improvements is that the museum will be able to display art uninterrupted throughout the year at the Arnold & Joan Saltzman Fine Art Building which will house rotating exhibitions and exhibitions based on the museum's permanent collection.
Dedicated also to building new audiences for the performing arts, Mr. Tilles inaugurated Tilles Center for the Performing Arts' Swing for Kids, an annual golf and tennis tournament that raises funds for Tilles Center's extensive Arts Education outreach to the schools and school children of Long Island. Swing for Kids has raised more than $2 million over the years, enabling Tilles Center, named for his parents, Gilbert and Rose Tilles, to steadily expand its outreach to thousands of young people each year.
Peter Tilles also has spent much effort beautifying Long Island. At Nassau County Museum of Art he spearheaded the renovation of the Formal Gardens, originally designed by Marian Cruger Coffin in the 1920s, and has restored miles of walking paths which are open to the public. He served as president of the Friends of Planting Fields in Oyster Bay and was instrumental in the building of the Paul Callahan Dahlia garden and in the restoration of the Italian Garden there. He has also designed, built, and is currently maintaining the gardens at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington.
Tilles sits on the board of the DNA Learning Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He has also been a board member of Long Island Jewish Hospital, now part of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, for more than 20 years.
Nassau County Museum of Art is chartered and accredited under the laws of New York State as a not-for-profit private educational institution and museum. It is operated by a privately elected board of trustees which is responsible for its governance. The museum is funded through income derived from admissions, parking, membership, special events and private and corporate donations as well as federal and state grants. The museum is located at One Museum Drive (just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Rd.) in Roslyn Harbor. For information on exhibitions and programs, log on to nassaumuseum.com or call 484-9337.