Reconsidering the Concept of the "Anchor Institution"

Friday, June 15, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

What is an "anchor institution" and how do they impact communities? When a community transforms, does an anchor stay an anchor simply by inertia? How do we encourage meaningful, equitable community partnership from anchors, with a focus on the restructuring of systems?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss what defines an "anchor" institution, and how such institutions can be evaluated over time to ensure they continue to live up to those responsibilities.
  2. Explore systemic challenges that advantage certain organizations and disadvantage others.
  3. Consider the other non-arts anchors in any community, and how arts organizations do and do not fit into such a definition—and how they can nevertheless work in partnership for the good of the community overall.



Felicia W Shaw
Executive Director
Regional Arts Commission of St Louis
Saint Louis, Missouri

Felicia W. Shaw has served as the executive director of the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis since 2015. A native St. Louisan, Felicia brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and nonprofit arts and culture sector to the position. Previously, she served for eight years as Director of Arts and Culture Strategy and Analysis at the San Diego Foundation, where she directed a portfolio of art-based grant and civic engagement programs, including oversight of the Balboa Park Trust. Prior to joining the San Diego Foundation, Felicia was Program Manager at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, where she implemented the annual grants program and several initiatives designed to promote San Diego as a leading cultural tourism destination. She shares her expertise on several boards and executive committees including the Americans for the Arts United States Urban Arts Federation, St Louis Community Foundation, Invest STL and FOCUS St Louis. Felicia has been recognized for her years of service and leadership in the arts. Recent awards include: the “Who’s Who: Diversity in Color Award” (2015); “Mathews Dickey Boys and Girls Club – Arts Advocate Award” (2015); and the San Diego Magazine “Women who Mean Business” Award (2012). She is also a proud graduate of the Amherst Wilder Foundation Shannon Leadership Institute (2015) and of Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in Communications. Felicia completed post-graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego in Art History, Theory, and Criticism.

Julie A. Garreau
Executive Director
Cheyenne River Youth Project
Eagle Butte, South Dakota

Julie Garreau is the award-winning founder and executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, SD. Currently a Bush Fellow (2016-18), Julie also has earned a Bush Prize for Innovation, and she has received both the Spirit of Dakota Award and the Presidential Points of Light Award. Her name appears on the National Museum of the American Indian’s Honor Wall.

Julie is committed to creating culturally relevant programming that meets the evolving needs of Cheyenne River children and engages community members of all ages. CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute incorporates a public art park, annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam, and innovative internship program in which teens learn fine art, graffiti and street art, and traditional Lakota arts while also developing critical job and life skills. In 2017, CRYP’s RedCan event won the prestigious Robert E. Gard Award from Americans for the Arts.

Nichole Potzauf
Executive Director
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
Blue Ridge, Georgia

Nichole Potzauf is the Executive Director for the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association in Blue Ridge, GA with a focus on arts accessibility, economic development, and community engagement and partnership. She currently serves as the Chair of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee and is an active member of the Georgia Council for the Arts grant review panel. She has been a participant of the 2017 Ford Foundation’s Southern Cultural Research project and has taken part in American’s for the Arts 2016 Executive Leadership Forum. As a grant writer, she has been awarded several national and state-level grants on behalf of the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and has worked with Georgia Council for the Arts and the Georgia Municipal Association to highlight Blue Ridge as one of the top five communities in the state of Georgia that exemplified creative economic development and public investment in the Arts. Prior to joining BRMAA, Nichole was a Production Coordinator and Production Manager for several television production companies such as NBC/Universal, E! Networks, and Paramount Studios and served as the Data Assessment and Statistical Manager for Dalton State College.  Originally from Miami, Florida, Nichole has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Theater from Florida State University, with an emphasis in directing and production.

Karen Brooks Hopkins
Senior Advisor
Onassis Foundation (USA), Inc.
New York, New York

Karen Brooks Hopkins served as President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music from 1999 until her retirement in 2015, and was an employee of the institution since 1979. Hopkins served as the chair of the Cultural Institutions Group from 2002-2004, a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and as a participant on Mayor de Blasio’s transition committee. From 2005-2010 she served as the Brooklyn Regent for the New York State Education Department. In 2013, Crain’s named her one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York,” and in 2014 she was one of ten selected into its inaugural “New York Business Hall of Fame.” From 2015-2017, she served as the Inaugural Senior Fellow in Residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where her research focused on the impact of anchor cultural institutions. Hopkins is the author of the widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations, which is currently available in a revised second edition through Greenwood Publishing Hopkins has been awarded several honorary designations for her international work in the arts including Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star from Sweden and the King Olav Medal from Norway. Hopkins serves on the boards of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Trust for Governors Island and Alexander Onassis Foundation, where she is currently serving as Senior Advisor. She is currently the Nasher Haemisegger Fellow of the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University.