Lu Zhang

Executive Director

Lu Zhang is an artist and arts administrator. In her role as Initiatives Director of United States Artists (USA), a national arts funding organization headquartered in Chicago, Lu launched  Initiatives, a department dedicated to expanding holistic support for artists and their communities. In partnership with foundation leaders, Initiatives conducts research, shares learnings with the field, and increases direct support to individual artists across discipline and geography. Key programs include Disability Futures, a fund to increase the visibility of disabled creative practitioners, and Artist Relief, a $23.4 million emergency initiative to support artists facing dire financial circumstances due to COVID-19. 

Prior to joining USA, Lu was Deputy Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic, non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, Maryland, where she provided strategic and operational oversight, and led resource initiatives for local artists. 

As an artist, Lu creates projects that take various forms—including books, drawings, installations, interventions, and an institute. She has collaborated with Press Press to produce publications and The George Peabody Library to launch a studio residency program. Lu is the founder of the Institute for Expanded Research which activates sites and leverages resources to produce and present projects in collaboration with artists. Lu received her MFA from the Frank Mohr Institute in the Netherlands and her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.