Charlee Miller retires from Art League of LI

Charlee Miller retires from Art League of LI

Instructor Antonio Masi & Charlee Miller in the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery. Photo from The Art League of Long Island

On January 2, 2013, Charlee Miller walked through the front doors of the Art League of Long Island as the
newest Executive Director. Coming from 37 years in the banking industry, retiring as a Vice President for J.P. Morgan Chase, she was hired for her financial acumen and for her prior experience as Treasurer of the Dystrophic Epidermolysis of America, known as Debra of America. The then board of directors knew that the Art League would be in good hands…and little did they know how true that sentiment would be for the Long Island artist community.

Says Miller, “My favorite memories of working at the Art League include interacting everyday with students of all ages and abilities, talented teaching artists and a dynamic and creative staff. It was a privilege and honor to be part of Long Island’s creative class of artists, photographers, designers, and doers who infused every corner of the Art League’s amazing building with energy, innovation and excitement. The whole experience was unique, fulfilling and rewarding.”

During the quarantine, Miller began major fundraising for the Art League, as classes were cancelled and students were owed credits for classes for which they had already enrolled. She jumped into action, seeing the opportunity in the challenge.

“The pandemic was the most devastating event the Art League had to deal with financially, emotionally and spiritually. The health and safety of our employees, students and visitors was the number one concern. Shutting down for six months was tough on employees wondering when and where their next paycheck would come from and when and if we’d be able to reopen.

Thanks to government support, understanding creditors and our banks who worked with us, we were optimistic. A tremendous amount of support came from donors, students, business partners and people who wanted to support us through the crisis! The pandemic meant business! And that meant change. The challenges were great and it required immediate changes to the business model, a reduction in operating hours and expenses and better use of the building space.”

Miller acknowledges and appreciates everyone who stepped up, donated to the Art League, and made it possible for the Art League to begin the road to recovery.

Once the Art League reopened, she then began to plan for her retirement, knowing a succession plan would be needed to hire a new Executive Director. The search took only a few months before the Art League moved forward with hiring Marianne Della Croce, who began in her current position in January 2022. Miller then transitioned to Director of Development, bringing in much needed funds through capital grants, our Annual Appeal and partnering with other nonprofits for additional revenue streams.

Della Croce said, “If it wasn’t for the forethought of Charlee, the Art League would not be in such a secure place as it is now. I am honored to have her trust, and the support of Charlee as well as the board of directors, students and supporters to continue to make the Art League of Long Island the premiere visual arts organization that it is.”

Janette Simms, ALLI Board President, said, “We owe Charlee an immense debt of gratitude for her knowledgeable, experienced and determined leadership during a time of unprecedented challenge. Her tenure put the Art League on the path to a more sustainable future. ”

The Art League of Long Island wishes Charlee Miller all the best of luck in her new retirement!

Established in 1955, the Art League is a not-for-profit visual arts center whose mission is to provide a forum and showcase for artists of all ages and ability levels, whether through art education in the studios or exhibition opportunities in the gallery and art fairs.