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Doris Duke Foundation Welcomes New Arts Program Director: Ashley Ferro-Murray

New York, NY - August 1, 2023 – The Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) today announced that Ashley Ferro-Murray, an expert in experiential media and performing arts, will be joining DDF as the new director of the foundation’s Arts Program. Ferro-Murray will drive a comprehensive programmatic vision that marshals the foundation’s assets to advance support for performing artists.

“I have long been inspired by the Doris Duke Foundation’s commitment to creating a world in which we all thrive because artists thrive. I look forward to continuing and building upon the foundation’s widely-recognized efforts to support artists as whole people and to advancing bold and robust futures for contemporary dance, jazz and theater,” said Ferro-Murray.

The Doris Duke Foundation’s approach to the arts is informed by the belief that artists add value to society and supporting them to live dignified lives advances the abundance and quality of their creative expression.

“Doris Duke was a lifelong patron of the performing arts—and her support was always on the avant-garde. Her passion and outlook are reflected in the foundation’s work ensuring great artists prosper, challenge conventions and push boundaries,” said Sam Gill, president and CEO of the Doris Duke Foundation. “I could not imagine a better next leader for our program than Ashley, whose previous work defines the cutting-edge of the performing arts.”

Ferro-Murray joins DDF from The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she joined in 2016 and worked as the senior curator of theater and dance. Outside of her production and curatorial work at EMPAC, Ferro-Murray serves on the New York State DanceForce, Simons Foundation Triangle Program Advisory Committee, International Presenting Commons, TURBA (An International Journal of Live Arts Curation) advisory board and as inaugural curator for Bienal de las Artes de Cuerpo, Imagen y Movimiento de Madrid.

Ferro-Murray earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in performance studies with a designated emphasis on new media.

The Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) supports the well-being of people and the planet for a more creative, equitable and sustainable future. We operate five national programs — in the performing arts, the environment, medical research, child and family well-being and mutual understanding between communities — as well as Duke Farms and Shangri La, two centers that directly serve the public. DDF focuses its support to the performing arts on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. Visit to learn more. 

Doris Duke Foundation Press Room