Jay Simple

Announcing The Bridge PAI’s New Executive Director Jay Simple and The Photographer’s Green Book exhibition at Visible Records!

After an extensive search, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is thrilled to announce the selection of Jay Simple as its new Executive Director. As an artist, educator, and founder and Director of The Photographer’s Green Book, Jay believes cultural production can act as a liberatory mechanism.  Prior to his arrival in Charlottesville, Jay held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Photography at The New School in New York City. He has also held teaching appointments at Longwood University and Virginia Commonwealth University. His work as a visual artist has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he holds a BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. 

In his role as director of The Photographer’s Green Book, Jay has an exhibition opening Friday, June 24th at 6PM at Visible Records located at 1740 Broadway Street. Please join us at the reception and in welcoming Jay to The Bridge PAI!

Letter from Jay Simple to The Bridge Community

It brings me joy to have the opportunity to serve as Executive Director for the Bridge. In the many conversations that led me from Philadelphia to Charlottesville, I was deeply drawn to how The Bridge’s mission to Charlottesville centered on bringing together community, artists, and resources in ways that reflect the art advocacy I have been actively engaged in as well as my desires to help build a supportive community. Over the past decade, I have been dedicated to how art can work as a transformative vehicle to explore the vibrant diversity of human experiences and how these actions can be done in ways that are inclusive and equitable. 

In the coming weeks, I look forward to focusing on connecting with the individuals that make up our vibrant community. I hope to find ways to invigorate and expand partnerships, but also to ask an important question: What more can The Bridge be? Nationally and regionally we are seeing and hearing artists and concerned citizens question the role art institutions play in our daily lives. These questions are asking how art institutions can be more expansive regarding who is given access and what narratives are told about our world. I hope to engage in the spirit of these inquiries, but I know, as The Bridge’s core principles confirm, the best way forward is together.

As we move forward I ask that you hold myself and The Bridge accountable to uphold the moral and ethical obligations of a non-for-profit organization: to put people before profits, to offer support without restrictive boundaries, to lend compassion instead of judgment, and extend patience while avoiding complacency. I believe these are but a few of the fundamental values I have been charged to uphold within my position as Executive Director, and I will take on that task with the utmost dedication, respect, and expediency.

I look forward to our future,