Opening Keynote - Arts and Culture in this Urgent Moment

Friday, June 15, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

We need to be discussing new visions for our country, our communities, and the roles that arts, culture, artists, and creative workers can play. Who better to drive forward this crucial conversation than our opening keynote speaker, Marc Morial? In this inspiring opening, hear Mr. Morial, President of the National Urban League, presnt his thoughts on what artists and arts organizations need to be doing right now as we look to transform the country—and the connection of those who live here to their full creative lives—into the equitable vision we dream it can be. Plus, hear more about the current work of the National Endowment for the Arts from NEA Acting Chairman, Mary Anne Carter.

#aftacon

Presenters
Marc H. Morial
President & CEO
National Urban League
New York, New York
@MARCMORIAL


Marc Morial, who has been described as one of the few national leaders to possess “street smarts”, and “boardroom savvy”, is the current President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization.

He served as the highly successful and popular Mayor of New Orleans as well as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He previously was a Louisiana State Senator, and was a lawyer in New Orleans with an active, high profile practice.

He is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing and voting rights equity.

A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania, he has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the top 50 Non Profit Leaders by the Non Profit Times, one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and he has also been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA.

Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia
@Americans4Arts


Robert L. Lynch is president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. With more than 42 years of experience in the arts industry, he is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance the arts in society, and in the lives of citizens.

In 1996, Mr. Lynch managed the successful merger of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, where he had spent 12 years as executive director, with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts. Under his 32 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts have grown to more than 50 times their original size. He has personally reached audiences in over 2,000 locations spanning all 50 states and more than a dozen nations, with diverse constituencies ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe to the President of the United States.

During his tenure at Americans for the Arts, Mr. Lynch has overseen six mergers including the Arts and Business Council, Inc. and the Business Committee for the Arts into Americans for the Arts. He has also created the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected political action committee to establish arts-friendly public policy through engaging citizens to advocate for the arts and arts education.

Under his direction, Americans for the Arts has become a leader in documenting and articulating the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry, and their audiences, in strengthening our nation’s economy including its signature study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts community, Arts and Economic Prosperity V. He has also been instrumental in creating a strong portfolio of projects and information about the transformative power of the arts in non-arts areas such as civic dialogue, social problem solving and work with the Pentagon, West Point, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on the arts and military. 

Mr. Lynch currently serves on the board of the Independent Sector. He has also served two terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, a position appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. In 2017, he was the inaugural recipient of the JFK Commonwealth Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In 2014, he was awarded the Sidney R. Yates Award for Outstanding Advocacy on Behalf of the Performing Arts, and he was selected as one of the most influential executives in the nonprofit sector for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50.

Mr. Lynch earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and enjoys playing the piano, mandolin, and guitar. He lives in Washington, DC.

Michelle T. Boone
Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer
Navy Pier Inc
Chicago, Illinois
@artscrusader