Since July 2016, Kenneth Benson has overseen the creation of eight issues of the Carnegie Reporter, Carnegie Corporation of New York’s flagship publication. Collaborating closely with his colleagues in communications as well as with program staff and the president’s office, he takes each issue of the magazine from ideation through to publication. He is particularly interested in the curation and expansion of the publication’s visual content and has introduced new sections to the magazine, including Carnegie Conversation and From the Archives. The Reporter’s subscription list has continued to increase through targeted promotional campaigns, and its reach has grown with a pivot to a digital-first publication strategy.
Previously, Benson spent almost 20 years working at The New York Public Library in various writing, research, and editorial roles. His digital contributions included creating and editing content for the library’s website, digital collections, databases, social media, and e-newsletters. In addition to helping to create a number of online exhibitions, he was deeply involved in the ideation, creation, and writing of the library’s award-winning app Biblion. Benson wrote, edited, and co-curated a number of physical exhibitions for the library, including “Such Friends”: The Work of W.B. Yeats and the landmark centennial exhibition, The Hand of the Poet: Poems and Papers in Manuscript. He also worked on a series of pop-up exhibitions on such subjects as the Declaration of Independence; Tom Wolfe; Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun; Andrew Carnegie’s $5.2 million gift to build branch libraries in all five boroughs of the city; Maya Angelou; and the history of spelling. Benson edited various other mutimedia materials for the library, including exhibition catalogues, calendars, signage, brochures, magazines and reports, and videos, while offering high-level client support to the development and external affairs teams. In addition, Benson has worked as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor for such cultural institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Biblical Art, Columbia University’s Maison Française, and the New York Botanical Garden.
Benson obtained his BA in English with an additional concentration in art history from Oberlin College. The coauthor of two books, The Hand of the Poet (Rizzoli, 1997) and Jews in America: From New Amsterdam to the Yiddish Stage (D Giles Limited, 2012), he was the writer and researcher for 11 volumes of Doubleday’s Collector’s Edition of literary classics, including selecting the texts for volumes of Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy, and Walt Whitman. Most recently, Benson edited a newly annotated edition of Andrew Carnegie’s The Gospel of Wealth (2017).