Rob Buscher Named Fleisher’s New Program Director
Rob Buscher, a film and media specialist, educator, and civil rights advocate, will assume the role of program director at Fleisher Art Memorial on February 25, 2019. Previously, Buscher was festival director for the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, which he grew into an internationally recognized leader on the film festival circuit. Buscher has also been a member of Fleisher’s faculty, and helped catalyze the organization’s film studies program. In his new role, Buscher will oversee Fleisher’s arts education offerings for adults and young artists, its exhibitions program, and the vital work Fleisher performs in the community, including artist residencies in Philadelphia public schools and community centers.
“Rob impressed us with his track record of supporting artists, building innovative curriculum, and deep commitment to engaging diverse audiences through thoughtful, collaborative programming,” says Elizabeth Grimaldi, Fleisher’s executive director. “We’re excited to have him join us as our creative compass as we endeavor to reach all of Philadelphia with Fleisher’s renowned art education programs and experiences.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Rob to the Fleisher community,” says Mark Goodheart, Fleisher’s board president. “His expansive knowledge of art, music, and design, and his commitment to developing relationships with underserved communities will be critical in elevating our venerable programs.”
In addition to his work with the film festival, Buscher developed the Japanese Cinema and Asian American Studies curriculum at Arcadia University as an adjunct professor, and was a co-founder of Zipangu Fest, the United Kingdom’s first Japanese film festival. He continues to lecture in the University of Pennsylvania’s Asian American Studies Program and writes frequently for Broad Street Review. He is also an accomplished guitarist and regularly writes and performs music.
“Having been a member of Fleisher’s faculty for several years, I am excited to join the organization’s administration in an increased capacity,” says Buscher. “I envision the many community partnerships I have built as the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival’s director helping Fleisher develop even stronger connections with the diverse communities that comprise Philadelphia. I look forward to working with Fleisher’s staff and board to advance the organization’s longstanding commitment to making art accessible to everyone.”
As a person of multi-racial Japanese American heritage who is deeply involved in his community, Buscher has developed a fluency in cultural sensitivity training, community organizing, and advocacy issues surrounding the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. He is the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the civil rights group Japanese American Citizens League and chairs the editorial board of its national newspaper, Pacific Citizen. Buscher is a commissioner member of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, where he chairs a subcommittee called the AAPI Arts Collective of Pennsylvania tasked with supporting artists of color and diverse audiences.
Image courtesy of Nick Miles.