Genie Rice

Genie began her professional career in the arts, working in various administrative and managerial capacities for major cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution and The New York State Council on the Arts. During the 1970s and 1980s she became heavily involved in community advocacy and preservation, culminating in the co-founding of CIVITAS Citizens, Inc. with August Heckscher in 1981. She served as CIVITAS President until 2003 and now serves as Chairman, leading the organization to its current prominence.

Since the early 1980s, Genie has been a vigorous citizen activist, spearheading over a dozen major projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life for residents of East Harlem and the Upper East Side.  Most notably, Genie and fellow CIVITAS activists including Marcia Fowle, Jim Tripp and Cora Shelton spearheaded the removal of 12 illegal stories at 108 East 96th Street. Additional accomplishments include the passage of successful contextual zoning modifications for the Upper East Side and high-density avenues in other parts the city and the beginning of the 2003 rezoning of East Harlem to preserve neighborhood character and affordable housing opportunities.  Genie’s commitment to broad-based public participation is evidenced by her involvement in community focus groups and CIVITAS’ continued efforts to engage local stakeholders.

Genie has served as a board member for institutions such as Clark University, the YWCA and is a current Board member of The Park Avenue Armory Conservancy. She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the June 1993 declaration of CIVITAS Day by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. Genie received an A.B. in Art History from Boston University and studied graduate-level Art Education at New York University. She currently lives on the Upper East Side with her husband Donald.