Alanna Heiss (born May 13, 1943, in Louisville, Kentucky) is the Director of AIR, Art International Radio, an Internet-based art radio station operating out of the Clocktower Gallery in Lower Manhattan, New York. She founded and was the Director of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center from 1976–2008 and is one of the originators of the alternative space movement. Heiss has curated and/or organized over 700 exhibitions at P.S.1 and elsewhere. Heiss was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in a farming community in southern Illinois. The daughter of teachers, she graduated with a B.A. from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, which she attended on a scholarship from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music.In 2004, Heiss founded Art Radio WPS1.org, the Internet radio station of P.S.1; it was later discontinued on January 1, 2009. When she left P.S.1 in 2008, Heiss founded Art International Radio, which is unaffiliated with P.S.1 but houses in its online archive programs that originally aired on WPS1. AIR produces its own arts-oriented material and is home to the Clocktower Gallery.
Heiss has received the Mayor’s Award for Contributions to the Artistic Viability of New York City, as well as France’s prestigious Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in the Légion d’Honneur. She has been decorated by the Order of the Polar Star for her contributions to the promotion of the arts in Sweden, and is a recipient of the Skowhegan Award for outstanding work in the arts. She was honored in 2008 with the Women of Distinction Award by the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, and was recognized as New York’s 100 Most Influential Women by Crain’s New York Business. In 2007, Heiss received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence. In 2001, Heiss received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 2008 she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Lawrence University.