Since 2020, Marjorie W. Martay has excelled as the executive director of City Limits, a nonprofit news organization that reports on critical issues impacting underserved communities in New York City, particularly concerning housing and homelessness. She began her career in publishing after completing coursework in economics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. From 1976 to 1977, she was the senior advertising representative for Working Woman magazine, a role that was followed by a tenure as the advertising director of Science 80 from 1979 to 1985. Co-founding Health magazine in 1988, she served as a publisher with the magazine until 1994, when she helped to found Selling Magazine. Ms. Martay also spent time early on with Psychology Today.
Ms. Martay joined the Smithsonian Institution in 2000, where she served as the cultural fest producer until 2004. Subsequently, she founded Art W, an organization that strives to bring together women across creative disciplines, in 2007 and continues to serve as executive director to this day. In 2009, in collaboration with the Rutgers Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities, they launched the “Salon Series,” which remains one of Art W’s ongoing programs. Furthermore, Ms. Martay formed Women We Create through Art W in 2019, a website that gives women artists a platform to speak on their works and professional journeys.
During this period, Ms. Martay furthered her studies and undertook courses in architecture at the Boston Architectural Center and in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She also ran a consulting firm with her late husband, James S. Martay, where they offered strategic planning, marketing and advertising services to clients. Returning to the publishing industry, she co-founded Nomad Editions, a digital publishing company, alongside Mark Edmiston and served as the executive vice president from 2010 to 2015. It was Mr. Edmiston, having become chair of City Limits, who reached out to Ms. Martay to recruit her as the executive director for City Limits in 2020.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, she has contributed her skills to a number of other professional endeavors as well. Spending time as a board member for Mercy College, she also served on the advisory board of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum between 2011 and 2019. She continues to hold a position on the board of the New York Foundation for the Arts, where she has been since 2009, and has been a member of the board of directors of the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities at Rutgers, The State University of New York since 2008.
Living her life by the motto, “Each one of us has the strength to make a difference,” Ms. Martay considers the most gratifying aspect of her career to be motivating and helping others excel in their careers. In that vein, she is particularly proud of what she has accomplished through Art W and Women We Create, both of which allow women creatives of all sorts to flourish. For her excellence, Ms. Martay and her husband were previously featured on a 20-minute CBS segment about entrepreneurs, and, more recently, City Limits was featured in The New Yorker for their work creating a study on shelter trackers.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Martay hopes to continue giving back to her community and helping City Limits to grow and move forward. She also intends to continue her advocacy work in the arts, helping women gain the recognition they deserve through both the global network that has been created through Art W as well as the Women We Create project. When she isn’t working, Ms. Martay enjoys painting abstract landscapes and visiting art exhibits around the world.