Eugenie C. Cowan, Founder, has built a career on strengthening New York’s cultural infrastructure – its physical foundation – and on a love of music making.

Eugenie grew up in Buffalo, New York, which sparked her interest in architecture and where she inherited a keen design sense from her father.   She worked for New York architectural firm Ballard Todd Associates, which focused on housing and planning.  Working at the New York Chapter, American Institute of Architects she instituted outreach programs.  As a free-lance conference consultant, she coordinated the pioneering Neighborhood Conservation for the National Endowment for the Arts, which resulted in Federal legislation.

In 1982 she founded nonprofit arts service organization Exploring the Metropolis, Inc. (EtM).  This small, quiet organization has an impact far beyond size:   Studies and conferences in the 1980s showed public and private sector interests the negative effects of Times Square upzoning on theatre support systems.   In the 1990s she led City-commissioned studies on adapting a former church into a cultural center in Jamaica, Queens (now Jamaica Performing Arts Center), and on a culture and tourism center in Harlem.

In 2001 after analyzing performing arts processes, she initiated through EtM the free online database www.nycPerformingArtsSpaces.org that connects performing artists needing suitable, affordable workspace and cultural facilities with underused space.  This program has been transferred to technology-based Fractured Atlas.   A study of the need for a dedicated orchestra rehearsal center was impetus for the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.  A study of musicians’ workspace issues led to the Con Edison Musicians’ Residency Program for composers.

She is a founder and Vice President of Bellerophon Publications, Inc., publisher of Metropolis, the magazine of architecture, design and culture.  She also served on the Boards of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Preservation League of New York State, Fractured Atlas and is called on to advise various music organizations.  After 30 years as EtM Director, in the fall of 2012, she became Board Chairwoman.