Sessions by Theme

Session Theme: Communicating Our Value

If our fate is tied up in how much people value what we do, then we need to place more of a premium on the communication of that value. These sessions with stretch all the way from marketing and promotion to communications, advocacy, public will-building, and policy—all of the steps along the way to creating a strong and sustaining value proposition for the arts.
Funding, Innovating, and Evaluating at the "Arts And" Intersection
Friday, June 15, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Success in work at the "arts and" intersection—also called social impact work—requires a thoughtful mix of funding, partnership development, program innovation, and evaluation. In this session, learn more about different examples along that pipeline, including from funders, local arts agencies, and non-arts partners.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the types of innovative funding models that are starting to appear to support "arts and" partnership work.
  2. Hear about innovative "arts and" partnerships that maximized the strengths of all involved and yielded strong community impacts.
  3. Learn how to place evaluation at the center of your work, to ensure that you are always able to move--and measure--towards the shared goals of the project.



Theo Edmonds
Chief Imaginator
Louisville, Kentucky

Born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of south eastern Kentucky, Theo is an artist, healthcare professional and social entrepreneur who was selected as one of "50 People Changing the Face of the South" by Southern Living Magazine.  His work is guided by a singular philosophy: Culture Shapes Health.  He is dedicated to establishing new value paradigms and mutually-beneficial relationships between artists, entrepreneurs, corporations and emerging philanthropic structures at the nexus of Culture, Community Development and Health. Theo is Vice Chair of Americans for the Arts' Private Sector Council, Co-Chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Cultural/Social Impact Committee, and lead design consultant to CenterLink Health's work with the Center for Disease Control to establish a national LGBTQ+ Center of Excellence model. He was co-leader for Louisville's successful 2016 bid to be named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner.

Libby Barbee
Manager of Art and Grant-Making
RedLine Contemporary Art Center
Denver, Colorado

In search of a profession that would allow her to dabble as a philosopher, geographer, naturalist, anthropologist, writer and explorer of everything, Libby settled on a career in the arts, receiving a MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Maryland Institute College of Art. Libby believes that culture and the arts are integral to the creation of strong and equitable communities, and strives to realize creative solutions to important problems by supporting artists and creatives. When not supporting artists and grantees through her work at RedLine, Libby can be found in her studio where she creates artwork that explores the relationship between nature and culture.

Felicia Filer
Director of Public Art Division
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Los Angeles, California

Felicia Filer is the public art director for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She has overseen the commission and fulfillment of over 200 permanent public art projects throughout the city In Summer 2016, Filer co-produced the city’s inaugural Public Art Biennial, CURRENT: LA Water, commissioning 15 original, temporary public art installations and over 150 public programs. Previously Filer worked as a senior management consultant and loan fund manager for ARTS, Inc., a Los Angeles nonprofit arts management consulting organization. A native of Los Angeles, she earned an MBA in finance and marketing from Claremont Graduate University.

Lightning Round: Research Round-Up
Friday, June 15, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The annual tradition continues with lightning-fast research summaries from some of the best new research of the year! Moderated by Americans for the Arts' Randy Cohen, this is a can't-miss selection of new arts research!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Hear disparate new research, including on philanthropy in the South, the "permaculture" of the arts, disruptive philanthropy, creative placemaking, and equity in funding.
  2. Explore interconnections with the presenters, and brainstorm what the findings mean to your work.
  3. Learn about what new research is emerging, and what to expect.

Presentation Slides



Anne Gadwa Nicodemus
Principal & CEO
Metris Arts Consulting
Easton, Pennsylvania

Anne Gadwa Nicodemus is a leading voice in the intersection of arts and community development. She has advanced the discourse on arts-based community development through reports and journal articles including, “Creative Placemaking” (Mayors’ Institute on City Design), which helped to define the field. Nicodemus is principal and CEO of Metris Arts Consulting, which provides planning, research, and evaluation to reveal arts’ impacts and help communities equitably improve cultural vitality. Recent Metris projects span a case study of how a creative space in Zimbabwe fosters activism to a planning process that integrates arts and culture into the work of a community development organization with 250 affiliates. Since 2012, Nicodemus has been recognized as one of the nation’s 50 most influential people in nonprofit arts in WESTAF’s annual peer-nominated list.

Ron Ragin
Artist | Organizer | Consultant
Ron Ragin Cultural Projects
New Orleans, Louisiana

Ron Ragin is a researcher, strategist, organizer, and interdisciplinary artist. He has worked in the field of arts and cultural philanthropy for more than a decade, most recently as inaugural program officer for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, where he helped develop new grantmaking programs at the intersection of arts and social change. Prior, he was program officer in the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and a Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Alongside his research and strategy work, Ron sustains a vibrant performance and creative writing practice, rooted in music of the African Diaspora, improvisation, liberation aesthetics, and the development and maintenance of spiritual technologies. He has received support from Alternate ROOTS, MAP Fund, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Theatre Communications Group. Ron lives in New Orleans, makes a mean red velvet cake, and can throw down on some biscuits.

Laura Zabel
Executive Director
Springboard for the Arts
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Laura Zabel is the Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts, which operates Creative Exchange, a national platform for sharing free toolkits, resources, and profiles to help artists and citizens collaborate on replicating successful and engaging community projects. An economic and community development agency run by and for artists, Springboard provides programs that help artists make a living and a life, and programs that help communities connect to the creative power of artists.

Zabel is currently a creative placemaking policy fellow at Arizona State University and a Business Alliance for Local Lived Economies fellow. Zabel serves on the board of directors of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers.

Randy Cohen
Vice President of Research and Policy
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation's advocacy organization for the arts. A member of the staff since 1991, Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, policy, and using the arts to address community development issues. He recently published Americans Speak Out About the Arts, a national study about the public’s opinions and participation in the arts. He publishes The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts as well as the two premier economic studies of the arts industry—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, an annual mapping study of the nation’s 703,000 arts establishments and their employees. Randy led the development of the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture, launched in 2006 in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts Blog recently received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought after speaker, Randy has given speeches in 49 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Amber Hamilton
Chief Operating and Strategy Officer
Memphis Music Initiative
Memphis, Tennessee

Amber Hamilton is a seasoned leader, coach and trainer with expertise in leadership strategies and nonprofit management. She started her career and honed her toughness in professional sports management, first as an intern for the NFL, then moving on to eventually become the Assistant Director of Player Development for the NFL Players Association. Amber discovered her passion for community service and redirected her career to focus on working with community organizations and NGO’s. She has worked at Fannie Mae's Office of Community Giving and led affiliate relations for national nonprofit Rebuilding Together. She currently serves as the Chief Operating and Strategy Officer for the Memphis Music Initiative, an equity focused organization providing music engagement activities for black and brown youth. Amber has a B. A. in political science from Howard University, a master’s degree in executive leadership from Georgetown University, and a certification in executive coaching from Georgetown.

Bronwyn Mauldin
Director of Research & Evaluation
LA County Arts Commission
Los Angeles, California

Bronwyn Mauldin is Director of Research and Evaluation at the LA County Arts Commission where she oversees a team that utilizes data and research methods to improve the Arts Commission’s work and strengthen the arts ecology. Bronwyn has spent her career conducting applied research and evaluation for nonprofits, philanthropies, and government. She also teaches research methods to arts management students at Sotheby’s Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University. Prior to the Arts Commission, Bronwyn evaluated farmworker programs in California’s Central Valley, studied employment conditions for truck drivers in the Pacific Northwest, analyzed apprenticeship opportunities in the healthcare industry, served as a nonpartisan policy analyst in the Washington State House of Representatives and researched villager organizing in rural northeast Thailand. Bronwyn has a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington. She is also a zine maker and novelist.

Maria Cherry Rangel
Cultural Strategist
New Orleans, Louisiana

María Cherry Rangel is a New Orleans based cultural organizer, philanthropy strategist, and dance artist. Her organizing and advocacy is focused on building spaces for the most marginalized to create work, and redirecting resources to communities of color as a matter of justice. As Co-Founder of Mangos with Chili (2006-16), she developed the work of over 150 queer and trans artists of color, initiated dialogue around bias in arts funding and practice, and ushered in a new era of possibility for QTPOC centered arts and culture. She has led several efforts to help arts funders move towards more equitable funding practices, including serving as the inaugural Equity Auditor for the 2017 MAP Fund grants panel, co-authoring Ford Foundation's Arts and Culture Scan of the South report (forthcoming), and leading Foundation for Louisiana's arts and culture strategy.

Zannie Giraud Voss
Director, SMU National Center for Arts Research Chair and Professor, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship
Meadows School of the Arts & Cox School of Business
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Zannie Voss is Director of the National Center for Arts Research as well as Professor of Arts Management in the Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business at SMU. Previously she was a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, a professional theater company dedicated to the co-production of new works.  She served as managing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, associate manager of the Alley Theatre, and worked in audience development for Center Theatre Group.  Research consulting clients include the League of American Orchestras, the Irvine Foundation, Theatre Development Fund and Theatre Communications Group, where she has co-authored Theatre Facts since 1998.  Her published research on the strategic factors that influence organizational performance appears in over a dozen academic and practitioner journals.

She serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, DataArts, TRG Arts, TACA, and Big Thought.  She is co-author of the book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play.

Advocacy Mini-Bootcamp for Local Arts Leaders
Saturday, June 16, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

At both a local and federal level, what are the ways that LAAs can safely participate in decisionmaker education, and what resources are available to help? In this workshop, join the head of the Arts Action Fund and one of our strongest and most experienced localized advocates, for a mini-bootcamp on advocacy.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the boundaries of advocacy, lobbying, and decisionmaker education.
  2. Learn about resources and training opportunities available to you to become a stronger arts advocate.
  3. Network with others interested in local-level arts advocacy, and hear about national efforts to pursue coordinated local action with federal impacts.



Sofia Klatzker
Executive Director
Arts for LA
Los Angeles, California

Sofia Klatzker is Executive Director of Arts for LA, a regional advocacy organization dedicated to promoting arts and culture across government, education, business, and community life. Under her leadership, the ACTIVATE advocacy leadership training program doubled in size and now represents 226 leaders; created a new mobile website connecting Arts for LA’s 60,000 members with local officials; surveys candidates across all local elections; and launched a campaign to register arts and cultural organizations to become polling stations. She has over 17 years experience advocating for and implementing arts policies, arts education, and grant making. Sofia currently serves on the boards of California Arts Advocates and Californians for the Arts, and serves on both the California Alliance for Arts Education’s Policy Council, and the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network Advisory Council. Sofia received her B.M. in Electronic Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory and her M.A. in Arts Administration from Goucher College.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director
Americans for the Arts Action Fund
Washington, District of Columbia

Nina Ozlu Tunceli is both Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts as well as the Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. Since 1993, Nina has served as the chief policy strategist for Americans for the Arts’ federal, state, and local government and public affairs work, grassroots advocacy campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with both cultural and civic organizations to advance the arts in America. In 2009, she spearheaded the very successful “Arts = Jobs” advocacy campaign that strategically secured $50 million of federal support for more than 7,000 arts jobs and millions of dollars more for arts infrastructure projects within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Nina has produced several programmatic events, including National Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill; the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the National Public Leadership in the Arts Awards, which are presented in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors. Serving simultaneously as the executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected Political Action Committee, the only dedicated arts PAC in America, Nina mobilizes the political and legislative efforts of more than 300,000 citizen activists in advancing arts policy issues among legislators and candidates seeking federal public office. She recently completed ArtsVote2016, culminating with high profile arts policy events at both the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of The George Washington University with a B.A. in French Literature, and of The University of Richmond School of Law with a J.D. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

Collaborative Evaluation of LAAs to Improve Public Value and Impact
Saturday, June 16, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

There is often only one local arts agency in any given community, which can make it difficult to gauge how well your programs and services are working, to find examples of new innovations to try out, and to explain your relevance to your community leadership. In this discussion session, brainstorm with Americans for the Arts and local arts leaders on what a unified evaluation tool for local arts agencies might look like.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore how your community and your decisionmakers value and evaluate your work, and identify gaps in your ability to explain your impact.
  2. Brainstorm on what a connected set of metrics, and a way of comparing your LAA's work to others', would yield.
  3. Discuss the different needs and goals of urban and rural, small and large, and differently-formatted LAAs, and how to reconcile to a central set of evaluation tools.



Robert Bush
Arts & Science Council of Charlotte Mecklenburg
Charlotte, North Carolina

With over 35 years experience, Robert is a nationally known for his work the local arts  agency field.  Since 2000, he served in numerous leadership roles at ASC prior to being named president in 2014.  Before joining ASC, Bush was the president and CEO of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, NC and Arts United in Fort Wayne, IN.  He holds a B.S. and  a M.A. with a concentration in Community Education from Appalachian State University.  Bush has served on the faculty of the MAAA program at Goucher College and is currently on the faculty of the MPA program at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.  He was recognized by AFTA with the 2014 Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership and was  named to the 2014 and 2015 Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts.

Graciela Kahn
Research Manager
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Graciela holds a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in Humanistic and Social Studies from the Universidad de Monterrey. Before joining Americans for the Arts she worked as a project manager for exhibitions at the Centro de las Artes in Monterrey, Mexico and at Future Tenant in Pittsburgh, PA. During her time at CMU she was contributor to the Arts Management and Technology Laboratory publishing on topics related to management, engagement and planning tools for small arts organizations.

Karen Gahl-Mills
Former CEO + Executive Director
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Karen Gahl-Mills just completed an 8 ½ year term as the CEO + executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the local public funder of arts and culture activities in Cleveland, Ohio.

A former orchestra manager turned grantmaker and teacher, she has worked passionately throughout her 25-year career to connect the talents of nonprofit organizations with the needs of the community.

She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She teaches cultural policy at the University of Chicago and fundraising principles and practices at Indiana University. And she still makes music, singing regularly in the community choir at Oberlin College.

Mapping the Local/State/Federal Arts Education Policy Pathway
Saturday, June 16, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Moving from theoretical to the practical to advance our understanding of the federal, state, and local policy pipeline in arts education is an essential skill of any arts, cultural, or education leader. Connecting the tiers of policy to ensure equitable access to arts learning opportunities is the work of Americans for the Arts and can be implemented using a new series of tools and resources in your states and communities. Join this session to discuss the framework and learn through a practical example of STEAM education policy to explore the latest trends in policymaking to advance arts education in America.

Learning objectives:

  • Garner a theoretical understanding of the federal-state-local policy pipeline related to educational policy in America;
  • Illuminate the practical application through the example of STEAM education policy in Georgia; and
  • Interrogate this framework through the lens of attendee’s individual local contexts.


Jeff M. Poulin
Arts Education Program Manager
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Jeff M. Poulin joined the arts education team at Americans for the Arts in 2013. He works to empower local, state and federal advocates to advance policies supportive of arts education through communications, field education, and strategic partnerships. Before arriving in D.C., Jeff worked for several nonprofit and commercial organizations in the US and abroad focused primarily in production and programming, audience development, research and policy. Notably, he was a chief advisor on the implementation of the first national Arts in Education Charter under the directions of the Ministers of Arts and Education in the Republic of Ireland. Jeff frequently speaks at a number of nonprofit organizations and universities. Jeff hails from Portland, Maine and holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin and a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Oklahoma City University.

Meghan McFerrin
STEAM Program Specialist
Georgia Department of Education
Atlanta, Georgia

Meghan McFerrin is the STEAM Program Specialist at the Georgia Department of Education. In this role, she supports schools throughout the state of Georgia that seek to implement a STEAM-based culture driven by interdisciplinary arts teaching and learning. Prior to entering this role, Meghan served as the Coordinator of School and Teacher Services at the High Museum of Art. Meghan received a BFA and MAEd in Art Education from the University of Georgia along with teaching certification.

Kate McLeod
Head of School and Teacher Services
High Museum of Art
Atlanta, Georgia

Kate McLeod is the Head of School and Teacher Services at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. She manages all school and teacher programming, which serves 60,000 students and 8,000 teachers annually through tours, workshops, and teacher seminars. In 2014, Kate oversaw the launch of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program at the High, placing the museum in the national dialogue around 21st century learning. Kate oversees the Art Access endowment, which serves 35,000 students who attend schools that receive Title 1 funding. The program allows access to the museum through free admission and bus transportation.

Kate McLeod serves on the Arts Education Council for Americans for the Arts and is the Museum Education Division Leader for the Georgia Art Education Association. In 2012, she was named Georgia Museum Educator of the Year. Kate received her BFA in Art Education from the University of Georgia and her MA in Art Ed from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Designing Arts Experiences with the Impact Echo in Mind
Saturday, June 16, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

As arts organizations continue to move into the realm of resident engagement in neighborhoods, there are lessons for leaders on designing art engagements that reverberate after the event to move residents to action. At the workshop, you will hear from artists and producers about their experience co-designing art with the community and whether they succeeded in creating art that lead to positive change or policy outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore a human-centric approach to art and equitable development.
  2. Come away with tools for how to engage artists and communities in envisioning and moving the future of their communities forward in an equitable way.
  3. Understand more deeply how participants can use an arts strategy to ignite a discussion that will lead to positive change and policy outcomes, after the art intervention ends.



Shannon Daut
Manager of Cultural Affairs
City of Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California

Shannon leads the Cultural Affairs Division for the City of Santa Monica, where she works to integrate the arts into all aspects of life in the community. She was previously the Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts. While there, she re-imagined and re-invigorated the leadership role of the agency in state policy, from tourism and economic development to education and Alaska Native cultural advancement. Prior to moving to Alaska, Daut was Deputy Director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), where she oversaw the organization's work in the areas of cultural policy and technology. Daut has served on the boards of the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and WESTAF. Daut received her bachelor's degree in Communication Arts/Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her graduate degree in Communication/Rhetoric from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Margy Waller
Senior Fellow
Topos Partnership
Cincinnati, Ohio

Margy Waller is founder and Serendipity Director for Art on the Streets, senior fellow at Topos Partnership, and was a leader in the transformation of ArtsWave, an arts advocacy and support non-profit. She is an advisor on national initiatives to Americans for the Arts, LISC, and ArtPlace. Previously she was Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, with a joint appointment in the Economic Studies and Metropolitan Policy programs. Prior to Brookings, she was Senior Advisor on domestic policy in the Clinton-Gore White House. Before joining the Administration, Margy was Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, Director of Public Policy at United Way of America, and Director of Policy Development at Public/Private Ventures in Philadelphia. She comments on arts and strategic communications on twitter: @margyartgrrl. Margy holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and a J.D. from The Ohio State University.

Lightning Round: Social Impact Showcase
Saturday, June 16, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

Catch a new Lightning Round devoted to showcasing and discussing new tools, materials, and research related to social impact advocacy arguments for arts and culture! Moderated by Regina Smith of the Kresge Foundation, this session will give you insight into how this part of the field continues to evolve, and how you can take advantage.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about Americans for the Arts' new Social Impact Explorer, a free online tool designed to make it quick and easy to see the impact the arts have on other sectors.
  2. Hear about leading research work in the arena of social impact and how it is starting to inform communities and practices.
  3. See concrete information and advocacy materials crafted by local arts agencies to tell the social impact story of the arts.

Presentation Slides


Tatiana Hernandez
Senior Program Officer
The Kresge Foundation
Troy, Michigan

Tatiana Hernandez serves as Senior Program Officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program. She helps advance the program’s goal of Creative Placemaking -  integrating arts, culture and community-engaged design into community development and planning. Her responsibilities include reviewing grant requests, making recommendations for funding and managing a portfolio of grants. She joined the foundation in 2018. Previously she served as arts director at Hemera Foundation and as program officer for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where she managed the foundation’s national arts program including the Knight Arts Challenge.

Prior to her work in philanthropy, she led college access programs for youth in South Los Angeles. She has also worked with people with intellectual disabilities and on issues of climate change.

A long-time resident of Miami, Florida, she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

She currently serves on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts and previously served on the boards of the Gard Foundation, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, Machine Project and BFI (Bas Fisher Invitational). She is a 2014 Marshall Memorial Fellow, a program of the German Marshall Fund.

Clayton Lord
Vice President of Local Arts Advancement
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Clayton Lord is the vice president of local arts advancement for Americans for the Arts, where he oversees advocacy, capacity development and cohort building for local arts administrators and advocates in 5,000 communities across the United States. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Lord served for five years as the director of communications and audience development for Theatre Bay Area. At Americans for the Arts, the local arts advancement department aims to empower, educate, and support local arts leaders, public artists and arts administrators, emerging, mid-career, and executive leaders throughout the arts sector, arts marketers, and artist-activists as they work to be constantly relevant and transformative in the lives of American citizens and communities. Lord shepherds the New Community Visions Initiative, a multi-year effort to better understand and support the changing role of the arts and local arts agencies in American communities, and Americans for the Arts’ ongoing initiatives around cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion. He is the chief architect of the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and the Executive Leadership Forum at Sundance. Lord is a prolific writer, thinker, and speaker about the public value of the arts, and has written for ArtsLink, ARTSblog, Theatre Bay Area magazine, Stage Directions, InDance, The Voice, ArtsJournal, and others. He has edited and contributed to three books: Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of the Arts; Arts & America: Arts, Culture and the Future of America’s Communities; and To Change the Face & Heart of America: Selected Writings on the Arts and Communities, 1949-1992 and is working on the forthcoming New Community Visions: A Blueprint for 21st Century Arts-Based Community Development, due out in 2017. He holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from Georgetown University, and lives with his husband and daughter in Maryland.

Sarah Sidman
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Communications
Seattle, Washington

Sarah Sidman is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Communications for ArtsFund, a Puget Sound nonprofit with the mission of strengthening the community by supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy and grant making.  She recently oversaw the design, execution and roll-out for ArtsFund's regional Economic Impact Study of the arts, and is underway doing the same with a county-wide Social Impact Study.   With more than 20 years multi-disciplinary experience in the arts and nonprofit sectors, she has an extensive background in engaging diverse communities with cross-cultural arts programming and outreach, both domestic and international. Sarah is a graduate of Harvard University and a former candidate on the Fulbright Specialist’s Roster.

Gary P. Steuer
President | CEO
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
Denver, Colorado

Gary Steuer has headed Denver, Colorado’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation since October 2013. He oversees the foundation’s $3 million in annual grantmaking to arts and culture in the Denver area. From 2008-2013 he was the Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia, directing the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. Before that, Mr. Steuer was the Vice President for Private-Sector Affairs at Americans for the Arts, advancing foundation, corporate and individual philanthropy for the arts nationally. He served for ten years as the President and CEO of the national Arts & Business Council Inc. before and during its merger with Americans for the Arts. He has also been active in speaking and writing about cultural philanthropy and policy issues.

Maud M. Lyon
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Maud Lyon leads the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, an advocacy organization that supports arts and culture in five counties through research, marketing, and professional support for nonprofits. The Alliance has 450 member organizations, from history to science to horticulture to visual and performing arts, representing grassroots organizations and major cultural institutions in five counties of Pennsylvania and northern Delaware and southern New Jersey. The Alliance’s work centers upon advocacy, bringing resources to arts and culture; and audience engagement, connecting the public to opportunities for learning, creativity, social interaction and discovery at museums, performing arts, community art centers and many other forms of arts and culture. Increasing diversity and equity in arts and culture is a major initiative, to make arts and culture organizations more inclusive and to support greater appreciation for diversity for the public.

Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Evaluation
Sunday, June 17, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

More and more, local arts agencies (and the rest of the arts sector) are being called upon to evaluate the impact of our work in inclusive and equitable ways. How can we create a culture of evaluation that recognizes and pushes against more tradition, non-inclusive ways of evaluating "quality," "impact," and "excellence?"

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn what a "culture of evaluation" is, and why it is important.
  2. Hear about a set of alternative ways of thinking about the impact and "value" of the arts to community life.
  3. Discuss how to make evaluation a manageable, useful exercise by scaling to what you'll have time for, identifying what you really need, and exploring partnerships and shared responsibility.

Presentation Slides


Barbara Schaffer Bacon
Co-Director Animating Democracy
Americans for the Arts
Belchertown, Massachusetts

Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. Additionally, she contributes to Local Arts Advancement work at Americans for the Arts. Barbara has written, edited, and contributed to many publications including Trend or Tipping Point: Arts & Social Change Grantmaking; Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy; Case Studies from Animating Democracy; Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force for Civic Dialogue; Fundamentals of Local Arts Management; and The Cultural Planning Work Kit. A consultant in program design and evaluation, Barbara has served as an adviser for state and national arts agencies and private foundations. Barbara previously served as executive director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts. She is president of the Arts Extension Institute, Inc. and a board member for WomenArts. Barbara served for 14 years on the Belchertown, MA School Committee.  She currently serves as a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Gregory Burbidge
Research & Policy Specialist
Calgary Arts Development
Calgary, Alberta (Can)


Gregory Burbidge is a Research & Policy Specialist at Calgary Arts Development (CADA). In this role he is responsible for the management of research and policy projects that support the indicators and outcomes related to CADA’s strategic plan. This work also includes supporting the development of data and evaluative tools for use by the arts community.

Prior to joining CADA, Burbidge served as a Principal Program Specialist at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), building a program around the ARC board's vision for a regional focus on arts and culture planning. Previous to that Burbidge spent time managing a performance and concert facility in Saskatchewan.

Born in the wilds of northern Canada, Burbidge spent his early professional life as a gold miner. In his spare time he enjoys playing board games, petting his dogs, and creating art with textiles, a hobby that intertwines his interests in mathematics, sheepherding and wearable art.

Julane Havens
Associate Artistic Director
Commonwealth Theatre Center
Louisville, Kentucky

Julane Havens is the Associate Artistic Director for Commonwealth Theatre Center in Louisville, where she co-manages the Walden Theatre Conservatory and has managed student assessments since 2013. She participated in student assessment development for The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts, where she is the Chair of the Drama program. Julane is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and is honored to have directed the first productions of HENRY IV PARTS 1 & 2 for the Young American Shakespeare Festival, to have led two arts-immersion trips to Nicaragua with Hand in Hand Ministries, and to have founded the Summer Shakespeare Intensive at CTC in 2011. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri – Kansas City/ Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and recently graduated with a Master of Arts in Business Design and Arts Leadership from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Emiko Muraki
Director, Community Investment & Impact
Calgary Arts Development
Calgary, Alberta (Can)

Emiko Muraki is an arts manager focused on research, strategy and systems thinking. As Director, Community Investment & Impact for Calgary Arts Development she oversees grant investment programs, evaluation, performance measurement and a research agenda focused on the benefits of the arts to a city, community and individual. Emiko holds a BFA in Theatre as well as a BA (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Calgary. She has been an active member of the Calgary arts community for over a decade, working as an arts administrator, director, dramaturg, stage manager, and actor. Emiko is a member of the Calgary Board of Education’s Fine Arts Advisory Committee and Research Sub-committee, The City of Calgary's Event Advisory Committee and the Canada Council for the Arts’ Qualitative Impact Research Advisory Committee. She is also pursuing graduate studies in cognitive neuropsychology, with an interest in the neurological processes underpinning the human capacity for language.

Session Theme: Cross-Sector and Community Partnership

The visibility and value of the arts increases when they are tied to parts of community and individual life that are visible and valued, making partnership crucial. But what makes a successful partnership, and how (among all of the challenges that any arts group is facing today) can we identify where to put our energy, how to maintain and grow a connection, and how to create common goals? Given that new community visions cannot happen in a vacuum, these sessions will explore what being part of the interconnected reality of today’s community looks like.
Artistic Approaches to Community Health
Friday, June 15, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

The health and vibrancy of a community is directly tied to the health, vibrancy, and equity of its members. In this session, hear from artists, public health leaders, and arts leaders about arts approaches to promote equity and to further public health goals, community member engagement, and the role of artists and creative workers as change agents for community well-being.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand of effective techniques to build trust between arts and non-arts groups, as well as between artists and community members.
  2. Gain concrete tools and examples to evaluate and implement cross-sector partnerships related to community health.
  3. Map the various individuals and institutions that need to come together to promote equity and public health, as well as current challenges and strategies.




Karen Mack
Executive Director
LA Commons
Los Angeles, California

Karen Mack is founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, an organization dedicated to promoting Los Angeles' diverse neighborhoods through locally based, interactive, artistic and cultural programming.  LA Commons has implemented community art projects, tours and classes in communities throughout LA. Ms. Mack is a nationally recognized voice on the role of creativity in the empowerment of communities and is asked to speak regularly on this topic.  Prior to work with LA Commons, she served as a Public Service Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she researched the role of culture in community building.  She holds an MPA from Harvard University and an MBA from the John Anderson School of Management at UCLA.  She is a past president of the board of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative and of the City’s Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.

Scape Martinez
Director of Programs
East Palo Alto, California

Scape is an artist and educator whose personal work includes abstract expressionism and graffiti art. Scape is also responsible for a number of public art projects, incorporating traditional mural making techniques, elements of Graffiti Art, and digital imaging. His published writings include four highly acclaimed Graffiti Art books, the first instructional Graffiti books of their kind. Scape is committed to the principles of creative placemaking, and enjoys engaging community members in public pieces that are co-designed and co-created. As a long time advocate for art education for young adults, Scape is committed to working with youth of all backgrounds to help them explore their sense of identity and voice through art.

Ann Marie Miller
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy
ArtPride New Jersey
Burlington, New Jersey

Ann Marie Miller is Director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the ArtPride NJ Foundation and served as its Executive Director for 20 years. Prior to joining ArtPride, Ann Marie was Director of Development at McCarter Theatre, a Tony-award winning regional theatre and performing arts center, and Grants Coordinator at the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  Ann Marie is Vice Chair of Arts Ed New Jersey and Chair of the Hightstown Cultural Arts Commission in her hometown.  A recipient of the 2015 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award from Americans for the Arts, Ann Marie is a graduate of Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia with a B.S. in Art Education.

Case Study: Space to Create Colorado
Friday, June 15, 2:30 pm - 3:10 pm

Explore rural economic development in the arts through creative sector housing initiatives. This case study highlights Space to Create Colorado, the first state driven initiative for affordable housing for artists and creative sector workers in the nation. This public/private sector model engages government, communities, and private foundations around the issue ofaffordable housing in rural and small towns including the role of artists. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn more about the connections between arts and housing.
  2. Get an idea of the complex partnerships necessary to pursue meaningful arts and housing work.
  3. Adapt or adopt a successful state-level arts and housing effort.



Margaret Hunt
Executive Director
Colorado Creative Industries
Denver, Colorado
Case Study: MAPC's Arts & Planning Toolkit
Friday, June 15, 3:20 pm - 4:00 pm

Urban planners have immense influence in shaping the built environment through policy and planning. This case study exlores how the arts can be made an integral part of the development and implementation of plans and policies for vibrant and healthy communities. Boston’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Arts and Planning Toolkit is a case study-based resource for planners and other government staff interested in innovating their planning and community development work through projects and partnerships that engage the creative community.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how to appeal to the interests of urban planners and others implementing governmental policies supportive of the arts.
  2. Explore the various goals that different partners (public/private, for profit/not for profit) have for the same project to satisfy these multiple objectives.
  3. Hear how to set up an artist-in-residence program in a government agency.



Jennifer Erickson
Manager, Arts & Culture
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Boston, Massachusetts

Jennifer Sien Erickson serves as Manager of Arts and Culture at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency serving Metropolitan Boston. She heads the agency's Arts and Culture Division. Her expertise includes arts and culture, community visioning, housing, fair housing, economic development, transit-oriented development, and equity. Her prior positions included managing MAPC's Technical Assistance Program and serving as a regional planner in the Land Use Department. Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Planning Association - Massachusetts Chapter. Ms. Erickson is the co-founder of the APA Arts and Planning Interest Group and has served on the APA's Diversity Task Force and People and Places Task Force. Her work has also been published in the Journal for Planning Education and Research. Prior to joining MAPC, Ms. Erickson worked as a grantmaker, facilitating funding to organizations working to advance the quality of life in the Commonwealth. She received her Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.

Arts Education & Public Art: Towards Practice
Friday, June 15, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

In this third and final installment of the annual Arts Education & Public Art series, hear about what we've learned and explore some specific, replicable examples of crossover between public art and arts education.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore three years of conversation and research about the intersection of public art and arts education.
  2. Hear concrete case studies of examples at the arts education/public art intersection.
  3. Map next steps, including access to a network of others interested in working more deeply at this intersection.



Michael Sweney
Art in Public Places Program Manager
Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA)
Olympia, Washington

Mike joined ArtsWA in 2007 and has led the public art team since 2011. One of the country’s oldest statewide public art programs, Art in Public Places has been a leader in developing and administering best practices for art acquisition and collection care. Mike has managed more than 100 public art projects throughout the state in the diverse communities of Washington’s public schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies. Prior to ArtsWA, he was an art gallery director with Davidson Contemporary in Seattle and Charles Cowles Gallery in New York. He is a past board vice president for Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art and currently serves on the Tacoma Art Museum’s Collection Committee, the Advisory Committee for Washington State University’s new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and chairs the Tacoma Arts Commission. He holds a BA degree in Art History and Studio Art from Oberlin College.

Patricia Walsh
Public Art and Civic Design Program Manager
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Patricia Walsh is the manager of the public art programs for Americans for the Arts. Prior to working at Americans for the Arts she was a cultural programming specialist for the public art program at the Arts Commission for the City of Las Vegas, served on the City of Palo Alto Public Art Commission and was the program coordinator for the City of San Jose Public Art Program. She earned her master’s degree in Arts Administration from Boston University also holds a Bachelor in Arts in painting from State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

Olivia Gude
Professor & Chair of Art Education
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Artist and educator Olivia Gude is the Chair of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Professor Gude served as a member of the Visual Arts writing team for the Next Generation National Visual Arts Standards. She has created many award-winning collaborative mural and mosaic projects. Her research focuses on developing new paradigms for visual art curriculum; her articles include: Drawing Color Lines, Postmodern Principles, Principles of Possibility: Considerations for a 21st Century Art and Culture Curriculum, New School Art Styles: the Project of Art Education, and Art Education for Democratic Life. In recent years, Gude has united her work as a community artist and art educator by creating participatory spaces in which teachers investigate and re-invent the social practice of art education.

Case Study: Fires of Change
Friday, June 15, 4:30 pm - 5:10 pm

Strong partnerships between the LAA and non-arts agencies are crucial to the health of your community. This case study explores Flagstaff Arts Council's project "Fires of Change," in which they partnered with science agencies, tribal governments, universities and health care agencies to explore the issue of wildfires in the American West.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how to partner with non-arts groups in your community to address crucial or controversial issues through the arts.
  2. Explore the skills needed by LAA administrators, the artists involved, and the non-arts partners for successful cross-sector partnership.
  3. Discuss how to identify strong threads of community concern and develop methods of evaluating your impact.



John Tannous
Executive Director
Flagstaff Arts Council
Flagstaff, Arizona

John Tannous has led the Flagstaff Arts Council as Executive Director for the past eleven years. He has over 23 years leadership experience in the non-profit field, including the past 19 years in the arts. During his tenure at the Arts Council, he founded a number of popular programs that have become staples in the community. Tannous developed the Community Impact program, through which artists participate in an intensive training on controversial or challenging issues and then create new art for exhibitions on the topic. Prior to the Arts Council, he served as the Director of the Smoki Museum of American Indian Art & Culture, as well as with the Tsunami on the Square performing arts festival and the Prescott Area Arts & Humanities Council.

Case Study: Vision Zero
Friday, June 15, 5:20 pm - 6:00 pm

How can the arts make streets and pedestrian traffic safer? In this case study, hear about WalkDenver and the Vision Zero Coalition—a set of arts projects that emotionally and visually engaged community members to raise awareness of traffic safety and work towards eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Denver.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the main components of Vision Zero and the goals of the Vision Zero Coalition.
  2. Hear about the community-driven design process that led to this year's Community Art Project.
  3. See how to engage community, private sector, and government organizations in progressing "arts and" issues to make safer communities.



Jill Locantore
Executive Director
WalkDenver and the Denver Vision Zero Coalition
Denver, Colorado

Jill is currently Executive Director of WalkDenver, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to making Denver the most walkable city in the nation. Previously, Jill served as Principal Planner for the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), where she worked with more than 50 local governments to develop and implement Metro Vision, the Denver region’s long-range plan for sustainable growth and development. Jill also worked for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments where she supported regional efforts to coordinate land use and transportation planning in suburban Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Throughout her planning career, Jill has focused on the intersection of land use and transportation with environmental sustainability, economic development, public health, and social justice issues. Jill has a Masters degree in community planning from the University of Maryland, as well as a Masters degree in cognitive psychology from the University of Toronto.

Encouraging Community Connection and Addressing Alienation through Art
Saturday, June 16, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Loneliness and isolation are driving issues among older adults, those with major illness, caregivers, and active and retired military. Connecting with community is crucial to our collective health. The arts have a lot to offer, and the support of nexus organizations to create partnerships, provide and encourage funding, and make the case is paramount. Join this session to find out more!


Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn more about the major challenge of loneliness and isolation among "at risk" populations including the elderly, those with major illness, and their caregivers, and the role the arts can play in addressing that challenge.
  2. See case studies of arts-based intervention in action, and hear how you can adopt or adapt similar programs at home.
  3. Gather resources on the intersection of arts and health, including particularly arts resources for addressing loneliness.



Jeremy Nobel
President and Founder
Foundation for Art & Healing
Brookline, Massachusetts

As a practicing general internist for many years, Dr. Jeremy Nobel experienced “the front lines” of healthcare. Currently, through his faculty appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Nobel’s focuses on defining what quality healthcare means from a patient perspective and how best to deliver it.
Dr. Nobel is also a recognized leader in the field of medical humanities. He is founder and president of the Foundation for Art & Healing ( whose signature initiative, the UnLonely Project (, has gained national visibility in raising awareness on the health challenges of loneliness, reducing stigma surrounding it and offering arts-based programming that fosters a sense of connection and belonging. Also a published poet, Dr. Nobel has received several awards for his poetry including the Bain-Swiggett Prize from Princeton University, and the American Academy of Poets Prize from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jandel Allen-Davis
Vice President, Government, External Relations and Research
Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, is vice president of Government, External Relations and Research for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. She leads the organization’s government relations and regulatory affairs, community relations and community benefit investment, clinical research activities, stakeholder engagement, communications, and advertising and marketing functions.  Dr. Allen-Davis is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, serving patients for 25 years. Dr. Allen-Davis is an active participant on community boards including Denver Botanic Gardens, The Denver Foundation, CareerWise, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, National Jewish and in 2017, was appointed Board Chair of Grantmakers in Health.  

Joining and Expanding the Creative Forces Arts & Military Program
Saturday, June 16, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

Creative Forces: The NEA Healing Arts Network serves the unique and special needs of military patients and veterans who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care in 11 military and veteran medical facilities around the country and also supports a telehealth program for patients in rural and remote areas.

Americans for the Arts serves as the administrative partner for Creative Forces, and has been working alongside the NEA with local and state arts agency, military, veterans service, health care, and arts organization partners over the last year to host 10 Creative Forces community summits.  This session dives deep into the lessons learned from these summits about how to develop effective arts and military partnerships in your community.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how the arts are being used to transform the medical treatment of service members and veterans after traumatic injuries and experiences.
  2. Hear about the Creative Forces program and the various ways it is working to put creative arts therapies at the center of efforts to heal service members, veterans, and their families.
  3. Explore how local arts agencies, state art agencies, and other partners are coming together to make this work possible.

Our thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for its support of Expanding Arts Partnerships to Serve Military and Veterans

Presentation Slides


Andy Vick
Executive Director
Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Andy Vick is an experienced leader and arts administrator who believes in the power of the creative sector to drive economic development, build community, grow tourism, and enhance quality of life for everyone. As the Executive Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Andy oversees the daily operation and management of a non-profit, local arts agency serving a two-county region with a population of almost 700,000. In conjunction with his work at the Cultural Office, Andy serves on the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor's Bureau Board of Directors, is an ex-officio Board member of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, and is on the Executive Committee for the United States Urban Arts Federation. Andy is also an experienced public speaker and consultant on the topic of using the arts as a tool for economic development and community vitality.

Renee Pazdan, MD
Neurologist, Chief of Rehabilitation
Evans Army Community Hospital
Ft. Carson, Colorado

CDR Renee Pazdan is a Neurologist and Officer with the USPHS. She has extensive clinical and research experience in military traumatic brain injury (TBI) and has served on expert panels and as a lecturer on this topic. She completed her neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship as an Army officer at Walter Reed Medical Center 2001-2006, and has achieved additional subspecialty board certification in Sleep Medicine and Brain Injury Medicine. She served as an Army Neurologist in Germany 2006-2010, where she evaluated service members evacuated from theatre. Since 2010, Dr. Pazdan has served as the Medical Director of TBI services at Evans Army Community Hospital and is supporting program development for future transition to the Ft. Carson Intrepid Spirit.

Bill O'Brien
Senior Innovation Advisor to the Chairman
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia
The Pluses and Minuses of Getting on the Pot Train
Sunday, June 17, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. Since retail sales began in 2014, the state has pulled in almost half a billion dollars in new revenue generated through sales tax. While the majority of revenue is supporting public schools, homelessness and substance abuse programs, it is creating a ripple effect of opportunities and challenges in the arts community. From tapping into new audiences by pairing classical music with recreational cannabis to contributing to diverse funding streams in cultural districts, learn how legalized cannabis is creating new opportunity in the arts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the challenges and opportunities created for the arts community through legalized cannabis.
  2. Hear innovative ideas for developing new arts audiences through cannabis-centered events.
  3. Explore how new revenue from retail sales of cannabis is (and is not) financially benefiting arts, culture, and creative districts.



Christy Costello
Program Manager
Colorado Creative Industries
Denver , Colorado

Christy Costello is a Program Manager at Colorado Creative Industries, the state arts agency located within the Office of Economic Development. She manages the Colorado Creative District program, annual Creative Industries Summit and serves as accessibility coordinator. Her background includes museum collections management, non-profit fundraising and event management. Christy teaches courses for the DU University College Arts Management program. She is a graduate of the Colorado Creative Industries Change Leader program, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) Leadership Arts and serves on the CBCA Leadership Arts Alumni network committee.

Ivar Zeile
Founder / Director
Denver Digerati
Denver, Colorado

Ivar Zeile is the founder of Denver Digerati, initiated in 2011 as an entity specializing in digital imaging applications for LED screens as a new and dynamic form of public art. Central to the initiative is Supernova Outdoor Digital Animation Festival, an annual event hosted by Arts and Venues Denver and the Denver Theatre District in the heart of downtown Denver. The Denver Theatre District's LED infrastructure is unique to any other city in the country, supporting a mandate to enhance the urban core through a dynamic arts presence. Digerati's vast curatorial depth cultivates a singular, worldwide network of leading artists and animators, including local innovators, in support of multi-faceted programming. A full project history is available at

In 2001 Zeile founded Plus Gallery, one of Denver's most prestigious and celebrated contemporary art operations previously located in RiNo. Zeile served as a member of the Denver Mayor's Commission for Cultural Affairs from 2006 though 2011, and in the last decade as a board member for a variety of art-related non-profit groups in Denver including PlatteForum, the Denver Art Museum's DAM Contemporaries, RedLine and the Invisible Museum. Prior to moving his visual-arts based focus to Colorado, Zeile worked independently in film and video, including a decade on staff with the Sundance Film Festival. Additional creative history spans diverse design platforms such as graphic, industrial, trade-show and interpretive museum design.

Chris Zacher
Executive Director
Levitt Pavilion Denver
Denver, Colorado

Chris is a champion for live music that is accessible for all. He is credited with the sustainability and overwhelming popularity of City Park Jazz, serving as Vice President and President from 2006 - 2014. Since 2012 he’s led Denver’s effort to create the new Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park.

In 2013, Chris was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver's "Forty Under 40" for his commitment and leadership to Denver's non-profit community. He was named one of the Four Most Influential People in Denver Entertainment in 2014 by In 2015, Chris was honored with the inaugural Cultural Leadership Award from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.

Chris has worked most recently as a partner with Zebra Incorporated specializing in non-profit consulting. Chris has a vast amount of experience in accounting, budgeting, crisis management, contracting, community outreach and fundraising.

"Chris Zacher’s leadership has been critical to getting this unique public/private partnership off the ground, and his continued enthusiasm and energy will be critical to its success." Says Jolon Clark, Denver City Councilman District 7. "We will have a unique cultural asset with the Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill, but we’ll have it only because we already have a unique cultural asset in Chris Zacher."

Amy Andrle
L'Eagle Services
Denver, Colorado

Amy Andrle is one half of L’Eagle Services. Along with her husband John, Amy has positioned L’Eagle as one of Colorado’s most respected and highly lauded cannabis dispensaries, leading the industry by championing organic cultivation methods, responsible pesticide use, sustainable business practices and strict industry compliance.

Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Amy--who holds a graduate degree in nonprofit management--was an executive at a cultural art organization, where she gained an appreciation of cooperative compliance and collaboration. Today, in addition to being a mother and running day-to-day operations for L’Eagle, Amy contributes her time to the City of Denver’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group and serving as a council member for the Denver County Cultural Council. Amy is also a founding board member of the Cannabis Certification Council, and she provides consulting services for legal marijuana companies looking to improve sustainability in their operations.

Session Theme: Investment (Including and Beyond Grantmaking)

Supporting the full creative spectrum extends beyond simple grant investment, and requires more flexibility and thought about formal investment as well as the informal investment of time, resources, etc. On scales large and small, nexus organizations—local arts agencies, foundations, other agencies, and more—are borrowing models or crafting new ones from scratch designed to make the distribution of funds more equitable, the likelihood of success higher, and the systems that need changing more visible. These sessions will bring success to the fore, and will offer opportunities to grapple with some of the challenges.
Meet & Ask the NEA
Friday, June 15, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Catch this update to the annual “Meet the NEA” session, including a broader overview of the types of federal resources (money and otherwise) that are relevant to the work of local arts agencies and arts organizations. NEA staff will provide an overview of the 2018 NEA grant programs, and then highlight a variety of multi-sector projects that have made use of additional federal resources.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand annual funding opportunities offered by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the ability to have questions answered directly by NEA grants staff.
  2. Learn about federal resources beyond the NEA that are available for arts and creative placemaking projects.
  3. Hear case study/project highlights about projects by local arts agencies and arts organizations that have successfully combined NEA funds with other federal resources for multi-sector efforts.



Lara Holman Garritano
Local Arts Agencies Specialist
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Lara Holman Garritano currently serves as the Local Arts Agencies Specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, managing funding opportunities available to the more than 4,500 Local Arts Agencies across the country. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Lara has worked on arts and culture policy and programming in a variety of communities and capacities. Previously, Lara was the Creative District Manager for downtown Colorado Springs in Colorado. In working to obtain a state-certified creative district designation, Lara developed and managed programming that integrated arts and creativity into downtown’s economic and livability efforts. Prior to that, Lara served at 4Culture, a local arts agency in Seattle, Washington, in positions that ranged from managing grant funding programs to addressing agency-wide priorities as the organization’s first Communications lead. Lara has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Jennifer Lindow Eskin
Acting Director, Local Arts Agencies & Challenge America
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Jennifer Lindow Eskin serves as the NEA’s Acting Director for Local Arts Agencies & Challenge America, overseeing grantmaking in these areas. Since 2008, she has been the agency’s Division Coordinator for Partnership. Her responsibilities include the management of resources and work strategies for the Local Arts Agencies, State and Regional, and Accessibility programs, as well as the Challenge America and Creativity Connects grant initiatives. Previously, Ms. Eskin worked as a Grants Specialist in the Grants & Contracts Office, after beginning her NEA career as an assistant for the Arts Education, Multidisciplinary, Music, Opera, & Presenting disciplines. Prior to joining the Arts Endowment, Ms. Eskin completed internships at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pa. She earned a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. from St. Bonaventure University, where she worked as marketing director of the Quick Center for the Arts.

Programming and Funding Public Art in Rural Places
Friday, June 15, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Rural communities are increasing hotbeds of creative and innovative public art, but such work comes with a set of unique challenges and advantages. This discussin will explore how small cities and towns can maximize the good and mitigate the bad when it comes to rural public art and placemaking.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore creative ways to engage rural community members in public art processes.
  2. Learn methods to do quality and meaningful projects on small budgets.
  3. Tap into your local talent to engage and help emerging local artists interesting in breaking into public art.



Savannah Barrett
Director of Programs
Art of the Rural
Louisville, Kentucky

Savannah Barrett is the Director of Programs for Art of the Rural, where she co-founded the Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange and helps to lead the Next Generation program in collaboration with RUPRI. She is a member of the board of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, the Robert Gard Foundation, and The Art of Community: Rural S.C. initiative, and served on the Innovation Team for EmcArts’ Community Innovation Lab program. She has widely published essays and interviews and presented her work at conferences internationally. She holds a Masters of Arts Management from the University of Oregon, and is an alumnus of the Muhammad Ali Scholars for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville and from the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. Savannah was raised on a seventh-generation homeplace in Grayson Springs, Kentucky, where she co-founded a local arts agency in high school.

Susan DuPlessis
Community Arts Development Director
The South Carolina Arts Commission
Columbia, South Carolina

Susan DuPlessis has spent most of her life in her native South Carolina, and it is this place that defines her.  With her family's long history in the state dating to the early 1700s, her sense of connection stems from her people who were mountain folk, share croppers and mill workers as well as professors, entrepreneurs and software engineers.    She began her career as an individual, community-based artist with a focus on underserved communities. For 25+ years, she had had myriad opportunities to use arts and culture as a fundamental basis for engagement and connection in nonprofit and corporate settings, locally, regionally and nationally.  Today, as Director of Community Arts Development at the South Carolina Arts Commission, she engages with artists, arts organizations, educators, grassroots community leaders and culture bearers across the state.  She is particularly proud to have co-directed the coastal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor partnership program for the agency as well as to have developed and now lead the new initiative called The Art of Community: Rural S.C.  in a six-county 'Promise Zone' region. 

Meg Thompson Stanton
Laramie Public Art Coalition
Laramie, Wyoming

Meg Thompson Stanton is an artist, artisan, and arts administrator working in Laramie, WY.  As coordinator, Stanton is the first staff person hired by the newly formed Laramie Public Art Coalition (LPAC).  LPAC is an independent, non-profit coalition whose mission is to enhance the unique visual and cultural vibrancy of Laramie and Albany County, in a manner that encourages participation and engagement from all our citizens and visitors.  As a practicing artist she co-founded the socially engaged arts organization, Wyoming Art Party and in 2013 won the call to design bike racks for downtown Laramie.  In 2015 she worked for the public art consulting team, Renee Piechocki and Jennifer McGregor, developing a public art plan for Laramie.  Prior to working for LPAC, she was a participating artist in the Laramie Mural Project.

Andrea R. Hanley
Membership + Public Programs Manager
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Andrea R. Hanley has been an arts advocate for more than 25 years. Her career has been guided and dedicated to the work of contemporary American Indian artists and the American Indian fine art field. Hanley has had an impressive career working as a curator, gallerist, writer, fundraiser, lecturer, and volunteer. She is currently the Membership and Program Manager for the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She spent over nine years at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., serving as both Special Assistant to the Director, and Exhibition Developer/Project Manager. Upon returning to Arizona, Hanley worked as fine arts coordinator/curator for the city of Tempe, Executive Director for ATATL, Inc., an organization dedicated to Native American art advocacy, Artrain, USA, a national arts organization, as its Sponsorship and Major Gifts Officer, and the founding manager of the Berlin Gallery at the Heard Museum. She has over three decades of professional experience working in the field of exhibition development and arts management, primarily focusing on American Indian art. Ms. Hanley is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

A New Model of Support for Creative Workers in Post-Industrial Cities
Saturday, June 16, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

In post-industrial cities, it is not a matter of reviving what was, but of artists and creative workers capitalizing on long histories of craft and industry with innovation. This panel explores communities that have moved their arts and culture sector forward through partnership, investment, research, and entrepreneurship to fully leverage their cultural assets as economic engines.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discover the the unique history of craft and industry that has combined to make this "culture of hands" into a viable economic engine.
  2. Discuss the complex partnerships and good faith efforts that are required to start and maintain the work.
  3. Explore the use and importance of cultural planning, community dialogue, and entrepeneurial energy in success.



Ryan Bunch
Communications & Outreach Coordinator
The Arts Commission (Toledo, OH)
Toledo, Ohio

Ryan A. Bunch is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at The Arts Commission in Toledo, Ohio where he leads community programs and creative placemaking initiatives. For the past 15 years, Ryan has worked to leverage Toledo's post-industrial landscape as a cultural asset. As a volunteer, Ryan has initiated numerous events, projects and programs and served on the boards of several area organizations, including UpTown Association CDC, Frederick Douglass Community Association, Historic Ohio Theatre, Toledo SOUP Microgrants, and Spoken Toledo Storytelling, earning recognition as a 2016 recipient of Toledo's '20 Under 40' Leadership Award. He was previously the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Toledo City Paper and Music Editor at Ryan studied creative writing and humanities at the University of Toledo and nonprofit administration through The Washington Center in Washington D.C. In his free time, Ryan is a poet, writer, and spoken word performance artist.

Nicole L. Mullet
Executive Director
Akron, Ohio

Nicole is the founding Executive Director of ArtsNow, an organization that works toward leveraging arts and culture in Summit County to support and strengthen the region’s economic and social vibrancy. In this role, she connects artists with resources, helps organizations understand the economic importance of the arts/culture sector, and works in partnership with community partners, elected officials, and businesses to support and advocate for our Summit County communities. Nicole attended The University of Akron, receiving a BA in integrated language arts as well as an MA in social-philosophical foundations of education. She serves on the board of the Gay Community Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation and serves on the Crossroads Writers Conference committee for 2018. She is also an alumna of Torchbearers, where she served on the board and was president in 2016 and is a current member of Class 34 of Leadership Akron.

Laurence D. Kaptain
Dean--College of Arts & Media
University of Colorado Denver
Denver, Colorado

Laurence Kaptain, Dean of the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver, is heard on a Grammy-winning recording (2001) with Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, as well as numerous recordings with the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and LaScala Opera. Dean Kaptain is on the Boards of Directors of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA), Opera Colorado, Denver School of the Arts, and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. He was Dean of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts at LSU from 2009-13. He was Dean of Shenandoah Conservatory, Director of the Schwob School of Music, and Vice-Provost for Faculty Programs and Academic Quality at UMKC. He received the first doctorate in percussion instruments at the University of Michigan, where he was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico and received the prestigious Rackham Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.

Toward Equitable Investment (Grantmaking and Beyond)
Saturday, June 16, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

What does "investment" mean? How can an expanded and more flexible definition of investment create a more equitable playing field? This session focuses on funding alternatives, new ways to think about staff and space capacity as investment capital, and models for evaluating how equitable your investment strategies are.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore and push at the boundaries of "investment," and surface the ways that narrow, traditional definitions create and perpetuate inequitable systems.
  2. Hear about how financial investment tools from the for-profit sector, other non-profit fields, and more are being readjusted and experimented with in the local arts space.
  3. Dig into all of the different types of capital you already have on hand: people, space, skills, time, money, and more.



Kate Barr
President and CEO
Propel Nonprofits
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kate Barr is President and CEO of Propel Nonprofits, whose mission is to fuel the impact and effectiveness of nonprofits with guidance, expertise, and capital. She oversees strategic and business planning, development, and external relations.  She led the merger of Nonprofits Assistance Fund and MAP for Nonprofits in 2017 to create a premier resource for nonprofits. She is a national leader, speaker, and writer on nonprofit strategy and finance. Before joining the organization in 2000, Kate was a bank executive and an arts administrator. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, currently for Borealis Philanthropy, and the Jerome and Camargo Foundations.

Melissa A. Hamilton
Engagement Director
CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Melissa is an arts administrator, educator, and artist who has been involved in Philadelphia arts and culture for over a decade. Committed to economic and social justice, Melissa understands that art is a vital tool for community building and a conduit for change. Melissa has worked in office, nonprofit, and educational environments - and most recently served as the Program Assistant for the Leeway Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting women and trans* artists and cultural producers. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and continues to teach courses at local universities while researching comics. A Philadelphia native, Melissa holds a B.A. in English + Gender Studies + an M.A. in English + Communications. She happily resides in Mt. Airy with her wife and daughter.

Caroline Taiwo
Economic Opportunity Program Director
Springboard for the Arts
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Caroline Taiwo is the Economic Opportunity Program Director at Springboard for the Arts and leads the work to create more equitable funding solutions to under-resourced artists in the U.S. Caroline oversees a partnership with Kiva U.S. to offer low barrier and crowd-funded loans to creative entrepreneurs and artist-run businesses in the U.S. Recently, she piloted the 20/20 Artist Fellowship program to award artists of color and indigenous artists who are creating tools and pathways for other artists in the industry. Caroline has a background in digital storytelling and currently manages the Arts + Culture section of the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Previously she worked in Inclusion and Community Impact at American Public Media and sat on the Healthy States advisory panel at Minnesota Public Radio. Caroline studied at Howard University and holds a B.A. from Hamline University.

Combatting Losses from the Charitable Tax Deduction Shift
Saturday, June 16, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

Presentation Slides


Christina Ritchie
Director of Individual Giving
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Christina joined Americans for the Arts in May 2014. As Director of Individual Giving, she manages the organization’s annual giving programs, including oversight of the annual fund and National Patrons Council programs as well as work on individual restricted major gifts.

Previously, Christina has held development positions at the Brookings Institution, the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Center and Washington National Opera, as well as consulting projects with the Studio Theatre and the New York Public Library. In addition to her development work, she has spent time as a fashion blogger, image consultant and costume designer.

Christina serves as president of the board of directors of Forum Theatre, and lends her time and expertise to DC Young Arts Leaders, a network of young professionals groups at arts and cultural organizations. She holds a BSFS in international economics from Georgetown University, and a certificate in image consulting from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Session Theme: Equity and Engagement

The nature of engagement and equitable policies and practices in the arts can lag behind the demands of the communities. Where are our bright spots, and what are our challenges. These sessions will explore equity in action, and will highlight innovative, genuine ways that arts groups are deeply engaging with the full breadth of their communities.
Monuments, Public Memory, and the Artist
Friday, June 15, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Memorial projects, particularly now, are complex endeavors filled with many unanticipated and sensitive challenges. These challenges exist from the first spark of an until long after the project is completed, and flow alongside changing community needs, social mores, and shifting understandings of historical and cultural narrative. This session will explore the various thorny to consider when commissioning, decommissioning, and everything in between.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the high-stakes and unique issues associated with memorial projects, and find common best practices among what must be a broad and disparate set of stories.
  2. Learn to balance the expectations and needs of a shifting community, government policy, artist's rights, and the demands of history.
  3. Consider the systemic reality that has led to certain narratives trumping others, and how to dismantle and reconsider the power, impact, and nature of public monuments.



Vinnie Bagwell
Artist/Executive Director
Enslaved Africans' Rain Garden, Inc.
Yonkers, New York

A native New Yorker, Vinnie Bagwell, was born in Yonkers, and grew up in the Town of Greenburgh, in Westchester County. An alumna of Morgan State University, she is an untutored artist, and began sculpting in 1993. Vinnie is a powerful storyteller who knows how to incorporate the story in a finely-tuned, visual portrayal of historical events.

Vinnie’s first commission: “The First Lady of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald”–a life-sized bronze–was commissioned by the City of Yonkers in 1996. It is the first public artwork of a contemporary African-American woman to be commissioned by a municipality in the United States. Currently, Vinnie is leading the development of the “Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden”–an urban-heritage, public-art project for the City of Yonkers to commemorate the legacy of the first enslaved Africans to be manumitted by law in the United States, 64 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

Last year, Vinnie was commissioned to create “What’s Going On!”, a 7’ bronze of Marvin Gaye for the DC Department of General Services. She was also commissioned to create a 7’ bronze of Hartford educator, the late Walter “Doc” Hurley, by the State of Connecticut, which will become the first public artwork of a contemporary African American in the State of Connecticut.

Vinnie co-authored a book titled “A Study of African-American Life in Yonkers From the Turn of the Century” with Harold A. Esannason in 1992. Many followed her compelling articles about the diversity of Yonkers’ organizations, businesses and cultural events in her weekly column for the Herald Statesman/Gannett Suburban Newspapers as well as her provocative news stories in the Harlem Times newspaper.

From “Frederick Douglass Circle” (a 7’ bronze for Hofstra University and the 24” centerpiece for the Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center) to “Legacies” honoring African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans (Memphis, TN), the creative genius of Vinnie Bagwell’s sculptures gives voice to their stories and meaningto their legacies.

Sarah Conley Odenkirk
Fine Art Attorney
Studio City, California

Sarah Conley Odenkirk has practiced law in the area of fine art for more than 20 years. She advises clients in transactional matters related to the arts in the private and public realms, and provides strategic planning guidance through a legal lens.

Sarah is the author of A Surprisingly Interesting Book About Contracts for Artists and Other Creatives; and publisher of an online database and the comprehensive Resource Guide for Public Art in Private Development. She is a frequent speaker at professional conferences in both the legal and art fields.

From 2013-2017 Sarah was the Associate Director of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s Art Business and Arts Management masters degree programs at Claremont Graduate University, where she was instrumental in developing the curriculum, ran several conferences on art law and community engagement topics, and was the Professor for Legal Foundations; Public Art; International Transactions; and Cultural Property and Restitution.

Sarah Lindgren
Public Art Administrator
Louisville Metro Government
Louisville, Kentucky

Sarah Lindgren is the Public Art Administrator for Louisville Metro Government where she oversees the Public Art Initiative of Louisville Forward, the city’s integrated approach to economic and community development. She works within the Office of Advanced Planning, which studies the community’s built environment to envision, design, and implement planning solutions that create a vibrant sense of place.

As Public Art Administrator, Sarah manages the city’s collections, exhibitions, and new public art projects. She supports artists, community organizations, and city agencies, including the Commission on Public Art.

Sarah’s background includes arts administration and collection management for institutions including the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Speed Art Museum in Louisville.

Using the Arts to Support DEI Work in the Private Sector
Friday, June 15, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Even as the arts sector continues to move toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is important to recognize the great opportunity offered to other sectors--including business--of arts and culture as a method of training employees to be more equitable. In this workshop, learn more about encouraging arts-business partnerships to train private sector employees on core DEI skills.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore example projects where arts and culture has been used to train private sector employees on DEI issues.
  2. Map a private sector/DEI partnership plan for your own community and work to position yourself for success.
  3. Learn the important terminology and vocabulary necessary to engage private businesses as clients for arts-based DEI work.


 Our thanks to Aetna for its support of Using the Arts to Support DEI Work in the Private Sector


Dara Silver
Senior Administrative Assistant, Special Projects, Grant Program Manager
The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dara Silver is the Senior Administrative Assistant, Special Projects, and Grant Program Manager at The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, where she has worked for the past 8 years. She assists the President & CEO and provides support for the Board of Trustees, in addition to overseeing 9 grant and target initiative programs that make over 100 awards totaling $1.2 million. Special projects she has worked on include American for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 5, City of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County’s Public Art Commission, City of Winston-Salem’s STAR Community Program, and Family Services’ Family Violence Prevention Initiative.

In 2015, she received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Young Dreamers’ Award from the City of Winston-Salem’s Human Relations Commission for her efforts in making a more inclusive arts community. This work includes reaching out to historically underserved parts of the community and non-traditional partners to ensure that Arts Council grant applicants and panelists mirror those of the whole community.

Dara earned her MPA from Appalachian State University, BA in Anthropology and Art History from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.  She currently resides in Winston-Salem with her husband Mike Silver, Deputy Commissioner with the NC Industrial Commission, and their daughter, Miriam. Dara was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Fayetteville, NC.

Endia Beal
Director of Diggs Gallery
Winston-Salem State University
Winston Salem, North Carolina

Endia Beal is a North Carolina based artist, educator and activist, who is internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal, yet contemporary stories of women of color working within the corporate space. Beal currently serves as the Director of Diggs Gallery and Assistant Professor of Art at Winston-Salem State University.