RIVAA Gets A New President. The Momentum Continues


Roosevelt Islander Catherine Kim is the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association’s (RIVAA) new president. She replaces Sandra Gavelyte whose one year in office brought numerous positive changes to the group.

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

“We also want to express our thanks and appreciation to Sandra Gavelyte,” a representative said, “for her service and dedication to RIVAA during her one year term as President.”

About Catherine Kim, RIVAA’s New President

Kim has been connected with the gallery since 2014 and a Roosevelt Islander since 2017. Since she’s so new, we will let her speak for herself.

“I am excited to foster a supportive and creative artistic community in which members and distinguished artists exhibit their work, and in so doing, contribute to the Island’s quality of life,” she said as an introduction for her new role.

Catherine Kim

“My background lends itself to this role,” Kim continued.

“Administering a nonprofit program for several years gave me experience overseeing finances, staffing, communications, and operations on a large scale. In the roles as community organizer and school teacher, building diverse coalitions was integral to my success.

“More recently, I found a passion for bringing teams together to accomplish initiatives as a Project Management Professional and ‘scrum master.’

“In my current role as product manager, I perform this function and strategize on how best to use technology to maximize nonprofit fundraising and revenue.

“Finally, I have a deep and enduring appreciation for the arts. Drawing was one of my main joys as a young person, and I hope to rekindle that now, in keeping closely connected to our mission.”


“This past year, I have witnessed great improvements at RIVAA towards hearing from more voices, negotiating a number of guest exhibitions, installing a new point of sales machine, and creating a committee structure, amongst other accomplishments,” she added.

And, then, she looked forward.

  • “In the upcoming year, my goals are:
  • Promote a culture of respect, trust, and collaboration
  • Build a stable foundation of processes, policies and systems; norms can be codified and transparently communicated to ensure a consistent and fair experience for all
  • Develop a long-term financial strategy
  • Make deliberate, data-driven decisions informed by multiple perspectives


“I am honored by the RIVAA Board of Directors to assume the role of acting president, which I intend to fulfill with humility and integrity,” Kim said.

After a year of creatively stepping up into a new era, the artists’ collective now moves forward under new, dynamic leadership. That’s good news for them and, also, for the Roosevelt Island community.

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