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Queens Museum Head Named New Cultural Affairs Commissioner

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Mayor de Blasio announced the city's new cultural affairs commissioner Monday.

Tom Finkelpearl is the current head of the Queens Museum.

At the announcement, both the mayor and the incoming commissioner suggested that the city's cultural institutions do more than boost the economy and tourism.

"If you look, again, what happens on the community level with artists in all the neighborhoods of New York City, there's something extremely valuable moving that's good for communities, and I intend to try to understand how we can best express that value," Finkelpearl said.

"We understand arts and culture in many lights," de Blasio said. "Some are tempted to reduce it to an economic engine for this city, and there's no doubt it is that, but first and foremost, it's a moral grounding for this city, part of why we are as great as we are."

Finkelpearl also served as the deputy director of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City.

He starts his new job in early May.

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