Melissa Rachleff is a Clinical Professor in the Visual Arts Administration Program at NYU: Steinhardt, where she concentrates on the nonprofit sector. In 2017 she curatedInventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965 for NYU Grey Art Gallery and wrote/edited the accompanying book, which is co-published by the Grey and Prestel Publishing. Melissa began her career as the assistant curator at Exit Art and co-curated exhibitions on the intersection of visual art and documentation. She also worked on exhibits about under-examined artists at mid-career. As a program officer for the New York State Council on the Arts from 1999-2007, Melissa was an advocate in supporting contemporary art projects done in collaboration with local communities. She has written about artist organizations for a variety of publications, and her essay, "Do It Yourself: A History of Alternatives" was published in Alternative Histories: New York Art Spaces (MIT Press) in 2012. For the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, Melissa curated Narrative & Counternarrative: (Re)Defining the Sixties for NYU's Bobst Library, based on the school's three main archive collections: Fales Library & Archive, Tamiment Library and the University’s archive.
- Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965. (New York: Prestel and NYU Grey Art Gallery, 2017). [author]
- “Academic Collaborations with Community Museums: A Method for Incorporating Contemporary Art and Art Education in Arts Administration,” Jahrbuch of Kulturmanagementm(Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT Weimar, Fall 2013), 313-337.
- “Do it Yourself: A History of Alternatives,” in Rosatti, Lauren and Mary Anne Staniszewski, eds. Alternative Histories. (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 2012): 23-40.
- “Peering Behind the Curtain: Artists and Questioning Historical Authority” in Adair, William, et al., Letting Go: Historical Authority in a User Generated World (Philadelphia, PA: Pew Charitable Trust, 2011), 208-229.
- “‘The Fever Dream of the Amateur Historian’: Ben Katchor’s The Rosenbach Company: A Tragicomedy” in Adair, ed. Letting Go, 242-265.
- “Funding Artists: An Inside Perspective,” in Nieves, Marysol, et al., Taking AIM: The Business of Being an Artist Today (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011), 175-193.