Leeza Ahmady

Director of Programs

Born in Afghanistan, Ahmady is recognized for curating noteworthy exhibitions, festivals, and experimental forums that educate the public about significant and often misconstrued historical, cultural, and spiritually vibrant subject matters evident in the works of artists in the United States and abroad.

Since 2005, she has directed New York’s acclaimed Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW)—the premier US platform for leading museums and galleries dedicated to showcasing both reputable and lesser-known artists and dialogues from across all regions of Asia, including the Middle East.
After studying theology, art history, and philosophy at St. John’s University, Ahmady began creating compelling unexpected encounters between art and the public at popular New York City clubs to support artists immersed in site-specific installation, sound, performance, and new media works. Next, her groundbreaking research on post-Soviet Central Asia and the region’s reorientation to pre-Communist nomadic and Islamic identities earned her an MA from Pratt Institute, with presentations at important international venues and exhibitions such as the Istanbul Biennale, Asia Art Archive Hong Kong, and dOCUMENTA (13) Kassel, Germany and Kabul, Afghanistan. (2005-2012)

Ahmady’s highly distinguished collaborative approach to empowering the arts as a vital source for creating consciousness in society has enabled over 3000 diverse practitioners to present their perspectives at notable local and international institutions, art fairs, and auction houses, including: Asia Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, Sotheby’s, Alserkal Avenue, Smithsonian Museum, Art Basel, ICI-Independent Curators International, and many more. She has also contributed writings to prominent publications, such as Flash Art, Ocula, Manifesta Journal, among others.