The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium at American University strives to feature the top arts leaders from the region to present in lectures and panel discussions. The panelists discuss issues that are affecting arts organizations that are within their area of expertise.
The keynote address by Ben Cameron was also the official Arts Advocacy Day kick off event for the Emerging Leaders Network of Americans for the Arts.
Since 1998, Ben Cameron has served as the Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for not for profit theatres currently claiming 17,000 individual and 440 professional theatre company members. Prior to this appointment, he had been active in corporate philanthropy, first as senior program officer at the Dayton Hudson Foundation and subsequently as manager of community relations at Target Stores in Minneapolis, MN. In this position, he supervised a $51 million national giving program which focused on grant giving, cause marketing and volunteerism at the community level. From 1988 through 1992, he worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, serving as director of the theatre program from 1990. His experience working in not-for-profit professional theatre includes three years as associate artistic director at Indiana Repertory Theatre (1981-1984); literary manager for PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC (1984-1986); and a host of freelance assignments at Baltimore's Center Stage and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. He has taught theatre at the Yale School of Drama, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Columbia University. He has published numerous articles on theatre, including a monthly editorial column in American Theatre. He received an MFA in dramaturgy from the Yale School of Drama in 1981, where he was the first recipient of the Kenneth Tynan Prize, a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a John Motley Morehead scholar; an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from DePaul University in Chicago in 2001 and, in 2003 an honorary MFA in Acting from American Conservatory Theatre. He has served as Vice President of the National Arts and Business Council and currently sits on the Boards of Grantmakers in the Arts, National Arts Strategies, and the American Arts Alliance, where he serves as the Secretary of the Board. He has appeared as a panelist on the Metropolitan Opera's Chevron/Texaco Opera Quiz each season since 1996, has spent 18 days on the Queen Mary 2 as an Oxford Lecturer presenting lectures on theatre, and is a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee.
Additional Symposium Panelists
Michael Bracy (Cultural Policy Panelist)
Michael Bracy is a partner in the government affairs firm Bracy Tucker Brown & Valanzano. He also co-founded the Future of Music Coalition and currently serves as Board President and Policy Director and co-owns Misra, an independent record label.
Michael is known for his policy work in front of Congress and the FCC, including media consolidation, radio regulation (including Low Power FM), and ensuring public interest principles are at the heart of the legal structures that will help dictate new technological frameworks. Michael is a recognized public advocate both for the music community and for the need for increased citizen participation in the policy process. He has testified before the Congress and the FCC, and speaks often on these issues at conferences and in the media, including CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Washington Post, New York Times, Billboard and elsewhere.
Michael attended Georgetown University, where his courtship with his future wife, Kelly, began in earnest when they co-hosted a radio show on the campus station. After graduation, Kelly and Michael spent seven years in Seattle, where Michael worked in the educational communications field specializing in producing and directing live, interactive educational and government television programming. Kelly and Michael have three children, Eliza, Sophie and Owen, and live in Arlington, VA.
Julie D. Carter (Management Best Practices Panelist)
Julie D. Carter has served as chief development officer with three organizations in the Washington, D. C. area for the past eighteen years. These institutions include Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Americans for the Arts, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.
During these tenures Ms. Carter has built and expanded annual fund programs encompassing individual, foundation, corporate and government support. She has established programs to secure funds through direct mail and membership efforts, major and planned giving initiatives, internet-based giving, and fundraising events. In all these efforts she has enabled significant growth in net contributions to dynamic organizations during key phases in their organizational development and service to their communities. Support has been secured from local, regional and national sources.
Working closely with executive leadership teams and boards of directors, Julie successfully completed the Wolf Trap Foundation’s capital campaign to build and partially endow the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. Most recently, she worked on the initial stages of Mount Vernon’s campaign to establish and build a National Library for the Study of George Washington.
Ms. Carter holds an MA in Community Arts Management from the University of Illinois and is active in numerous professional fundraising organizations. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Jim Roberts, and their West Highland White Terrier, Tatyanna.
Anthony R. Chavez (Cultural Policy Panelist)
Anthony Chavez (35) is a Congressional Fellow for the Office of Congressman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY). Since his arrival in January of 2009, he handles a wide portfolio of issues including arts and humanities, energy, environment, and the Recovery Act. His work on the arts and culture includes working with national and New York organizations on issues and legislation, drafting messages and materials for the Congressman, and addressing arts and culture as they relate to Recovery Act funds and job-creation policies. He is currently working on a school arts competition in the Congressman's district as part of the 2010 Congressional Arts Competition.
Anthony's experience and interest in the arts and culture started with playing piano at age seven for ten years. He acted throughout high school and college, participating in plays, musicals, and "charitable theater"-- a volunteer actors' troupe that performed at schools, senior centers, and social service facilities. He worked one summer for a firm dedicated to increasing Hispanic numbers in mainstream entertainment. For the last eight years, he has performed independently on his spare time in commercials, interactive theater, and as event entertainment.
Anthony is a federal government employee for the Social Security Administration. Before representing his agency as a Fellow, he had worked on legislative issues and Congressional affairs since 2003. Before then, he spent two years at the National Telecommunication & Information Administration of the U.S. Commerce Department as a policy analyst, covering broadcast media, digital television, media ownerships and the Internet. Anthony's professional background also includes energy sector and public relations experience.
Anthony received his bachelors in journalism/public relations at Arizona State University (1997) and his masters in public policy at Harvard University (2000). He and his wife live near Baltimore, Maryland.
Paula Cleggett (Cultural Policy session Moderator)
Paula Cleggett is the Associate Director for policy at the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. She also holds the same title for her position in the Office of Federal Relations of Vanderbilt.
After serving for six years as NASA's deputy associate administrator for public affairs, she joined Vanderbilt through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, a program intended to promote cross-fertilization of ideas and practices between federal and non-profit sectors.
Her role as Associate Director for Policy in the Washington, DC, office includes coordinating the Arts Industries Policy Forum – a groundbreaking policy study program for Congressional and Federal agency staff – while linking the Center and Forum with news media, think tanks, national associations, philanthropic organizations, the executive branch and Congress.
As deputy head of public affairs for the high-profile space agency, Cleggett had extensive experience dealing with news media and managing NASA relations with numerous constituent groups, including the arts and entertainment industries. Her experience with the entertainment industry included negotiating agreements with IMAX Corporation in its production of large-format space movies, as well as working with Hollywood studios in the development of space-themed feature films such as Space Cowboys and Deep Impact.
Under her management, NASA's extensive fine arts program was expanded beyond specially commissioned paintings to include poetry, musical compositions and Web-art.
Cleggett has held editorial and public affairs positions in the U.S. Energy Department and the U.S. Treasury Department. Prior to a government career, she held private sector positions in the advertising and marketing fields.
She has been prominently recognized for effective communications strategies and creative management, receiving the prestigious Presidential Rank Award for sustained excellence in government service.
Cleggett is a member of ArtTable, a national organization for professional women in the visual arts. She is also a member of the Maryland Humanities Council and the Art Advisory Board for the University of Maryland University College. A former board member of the Society for Arts in Healthcare, she now serves on its Advocacy Advisory Council.
Cleggett received a Bachelor of Arts in art education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and a Master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Aimee Fullman (Cultural Policy Panelist)
Aimee Fullman is an independent arts and cultural policy consultant specializing in North American comparative cultural policy, cultural diplomacy, cultural diversity, and culture and technology. Her professional background includes a 15-month assignment as an Associate Expert/Communications and Information Analyst for the Canadian Cultural Observatory at the Department of Canadian Heritage and a five-year tenure with the Center for Arts & Culture as a Program Officer and Administrator. In the United States, she has worked primarily on behalf of international programs, including cultural diplomacy, preservation and creative sector initiatives, executing UNESCO, USAID, State Department, and the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities contracts.
Following the closing of the Center for Arts & Culture at the end of 2005, Aimee managed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored Investing in Women in Development Fellowships in Russia and Cambodia and the Fulbright Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program at the Institute of International Education. Since 2006, she has provided consultative research, communications and policy expertise to clients including the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Sister Cities, the National Humanities Alliance, the Organization of American States, Americans for the Arts, Wolf/Brown and the Culture.mondo network of international cultural portals.
Select publications include The Art of Engagement: Trends in U.S. Cultural Exchange and International Programming, The Role of the Arts in Strengthening and Inspiring the 21st Century Global Community, Cultural Policy 101: Demystifying American Cultural Policy, Timeline of American Cultural Policy Milestones, and Arts in Embassies: Challenges for the 21st Century.
Aimee has served on panels and guest lectured in North America and Europe on arts management and cultural policy issues. She has a background in international relations, public policy, public affairs and public/non-profit administration. She received her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on International Cultural Policy and Public Administration from George Mason University and holds a B.A. from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Most recently, Ms. Fullman joined the faculty of American University's Graduate Arts Management Program as an Adjunct Professor in 2010.
Philippa P.B. Hughes (Management Best Practices session Moderator)
Philippa P.B. Hughes is the founder and chief creative contrarian of the Pink Line Project (www.pinklineproject.com) which she created to inspire creativity in everyone, build community and connectivity, and open portals to contemporary art for the culturally curious. Philippa also runs a consolidated and searchable calendar of all things cool and creative in DC and writes a widely read blog that highlights the best of DC's creative scene. A commissioner for the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Phillipa is active in the arts community through her extensive involvement and collaboration with emerging artists and arts organizations throughout the city including The Phillips Collection, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Cultural Development Corporation, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, DC51, Art Table, Ten Miles Square, Workbook, and many others. Philippa began collecting art as a teenager and continues to build a collection that reflects her broad and eclectic taste. She left law practice to pursue her creative interests and to evangelize the power of art to transform lives.
Sunil Iyengar (Cultural Policy Panelist)
Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in June 2006, the office has produced such reports as The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, Involved in Life (2006),Artists in the Workforce: 1990-2005 (2008), All the World's A Stage: Growth and Challenges in Nonprofit Theater (2008), and Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy (2009). Besides supervising all research reports, brochures, and technical notes, he is the primary author of To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence (2007), and he revised the guide How the United States Funds the Arts for its most recent edition (2007). He regularly speaks with arts groups, educators, researchers, and journalists about the results and implications of NEA research.
The Office of Research & Analysis maintains the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, America's largest periodic survey of adult involvement in arts events and activities. The nationally representative survey has been conducted five times since 1982, in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2009 and 2010, Iyengar and his team will report summary results from the survey, along with findings on topics ranging from arts, media, and technology to arts learning.
For a decade, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poetry, and his book reviews have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The American Scholar, The New Criterion, and Contemporary Poetry Review. Iyengar has a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Esther Méthé (Management Best Practices Panelist)
Born in Canada, Esther has obtained a Baccalauréat ès arts (Sociology and Art History) at the Université Laval, Québec City. She then completed a Master of Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, specializing in Textile Conservation. After graduating, she received a Smithsonian Fellowship to work in the conservation laboratory at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. After two years at this institution, she moved back to Canada, where she spent 5 years as an assistant conservator at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) in Ottawa. In 1995, she became the head of the textile conservation laboratory at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. Since 2002, Esther Méthé has been the Margaret Wing Dodge Chair in Conservation, Chief Conservator, at the Textile Museum, Washington, DC.
Although most of her work focus on caring for the museum’s collections, their safe storage and display, a component of her work involves teaching students, museum professionals, as well as the public, about the care of textile collections. She has given lecture in Canada, USA and abroad. She has written articles for conservation or museum publications and is a member of various professional organizations. She is on the board of the North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC).
Margie Maddux Newman (Career Development Session A Panelist)
Margie Newman is an award-winning PR flack and tireless advocate for using technology and social media as productivity tools to make you the smartest person in the room. They make for successful public relations campaigns, too. She most enjoys cause-related PR and is thrilled to be a a monthly productivity and technology columnist, and frequent blogger, for Her Nashville magazine.
She has been profiled as a Nashville Business Journal “Rising Star” and was named among the 2008 PRNews Top 15 to Watch, a national award honoring 15 budding PR leaders and creative practitioners age 30 and under. Listen to a fun PRNews winner’s podcast here.
Margie is a former press aide to Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, serving as assistant for communications to Bredesen after his 2002 election, and later, as communications director for the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, which developed Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in all 95 Tennessee counties.
After a brief stint in internal communications at Healthways, Inc. (HWAY), Margie spent two years as a Principle at Nashville-based public relations firm, Hall Strategies, where she managed PR and media relations for clients including the Nashville Predators hockey franchise, Urban Child Institute, Smoke-Free Tennessee campaign, MTSU Political Poll, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Southern Festival of Books.
A Nashville native, Margie now lives in Washington, D.C. with her talented husband and tea cup poodle, where she continues her work in strategic communications and media relations. She is the founder of the DC Flacks Meetup, a monthly happy hour and networking session for PR and PA pros in the D.C.-area. Margie is a graduate of Auburn University (War Eagle!). As a Nashville resident, Margie was a Junior Achievement volunteer, and served on the boards of the Nashville Adult Literacy Council and the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
You may read Margie’s career and communications musings on her blog www.flackrabbit.com and by following her on Twitter @margienewman.
Nancy E. Petrisko (Career Development Session B Panelist)
Nancy Petrisko is widely recognized as a dynamic leader in arts management who applies her experience, creativity and skill to bring organizations to new levels of performance. She is best at surmounting complex organizational and fundraising challenges and enjoys supporting critical issues of all types. Her accomplishments include: successful financial turnaround, establishing critical data systems, effective strategic alliances, expanded audience development, programing and partnership initiatives, and significant fundraising results.
She has held executive positions on both coasts with BlackRock Center for the Arts, Washington Performing Arts Society, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Performances and Vocal Arts Society. She has served in capacities of CEO, Operations Director, Artistic Director and Marketing/Fundraising specialist. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at American University, teaching courses in nonprofit management, fundraising, and financial management.
She is a peer reviewer for the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations' "Standards of Excellence" certification and she serves on funding panels throughout the mid-Atlantic region. She enjoys frequent work as an arts panelist, conference speaker, workshop leader and board facilitator.
Nancy holds a M.A. in Classics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Nonprofit Executive Certification from the University of San Francisco.
Robert C. Pullen (Career Development Session A Panelist)
Broadway producing and/or general and company management credits include: The Music Man, Footloose, Chicago, the Musical, Annie Get Your Gun, Titanic, Seussical the Musical, 42nd Street, Blast, and Broadway Salutes Hillary Clinton with Rosie O’Donnell.
Kennedy Center producing highlights include the Trial of Hamlet with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, An Evening of August Wilson starring Leslie Uggams, Viola Davis and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, The Art of Film Music with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and John Williams, Marc Blitzstein’s Regina starring Patti LuPone, A Recital of French Song starring Renée Fleming, Voices of the Arts with John Lithgow, Susan Stroman, Harold Prince and Christine Baranski, the 35th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center starring Angela Lansbury, Savion Glover, George Hearn and Marvin Hamlisch.
Television specials include the 2005 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Celebrating Steve Martin (PBS), 2006 Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Neil Simon (PBS), 2007 Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Billy Crystal (PBS), 2008 Mark Twain Prize Celebrating George Carlin (Emmy™ nomination - PBS) and 2009 Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Bill Cosby (PBS). Other television credits include directing and producing Bravo Networks On With the Show. In January of 2009, Mr. Pullen produced the Aretha Franklin segment of President Obama’s inaugural swearing-in ceremony, in March of 2009 Pullen produced a Salute to Senator Ted Kennedy with Bill Cosby, Bernadette Peters, James Taylor, President Obama and more, and in May of 2009 Pullen produced A Celebration of Women in the Arts hosted by Lily Tomlin with Patti LaBelle, k.d. lang, LeAnn Rimes, Annie Leibowitz, Vera Wang, Chita Rivera and more.
A life-long arts education advocate, Mr. Pullen teaches musical theater master classes at universities across the country. Pullen also produces a national Broadway conservatory training program, US Performing Arts, which provides instruction to students ages 12-20 in all areas of musical theater.
Education: Graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, studying musical theater performance, as well as attended The Juilliard School for voice and piano. Pullen is a member of American University’s Arts Management Advisory Council, a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters Advisory Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the DC Youth Orchestra Program.
Susan Sanow (Management Best Practices Panelist)
Susan has been working in the Washington area nonprofit sector for almost 30 years. She spent the past 21 years at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. She has held a wide array of responsibilities: membership, communications, education executive transition and – the area of her greatest impact -- awards. She founded The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management and the Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman EXCEL Award. The Washington Post Award began in 1995 as a competitive award to discover and promote the best in nonprofit management in the Washington area. The five-year-old Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman EXCEL Award recognizes outstanding nonprofit executive director leadership.
In 2004, Susan spent a year with Virginia Tech's Nonprofit Excellence Initiative where she worked to bridge the needs of the academic community with practical management information to benefit the nonprofit sector in D.C. and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Susan is co-author of Winning Ways: Great Nonprofit Management Ideas from the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management (2001).
Susan was a founding board member of the Virginia Network of Nonprofit Organizations (VANNO) and is member of Leadership Fairfax (Class of 2007). She also serves on the Foundation Center of Washington advisory committee and the governance committee of Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland. Earlier in her career, she spent many years as a board member of Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Maryland.
Susan holds a B.S. in Consumer-Community Services from Michigan State University.
Greg Stevens (Career Development Session A Panelist)
Greg Stevens is the Assistant Director of Professional Development at the American Association of Museums. Since 2007, Greg has been responsible for developing and overseeing AAM seminars, workshops and a growing library of webinars and web conferences for museum practitioners, as well as the AAM Career Café™ at the annual meeting. Greg has co-moderated all of AAM’s webinars since early 2008. Greg regularly presents workshops on career-related topics for emerging and mid-career professionals and is an adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University (GWU). Previously, Greg held education positions at the National Museum of the U. S. Army, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, National Building Museum, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and Kellogg Performing and Visual Arts School in San Diego, where he spent over a decade of his previous life as a theatre designer and arts educator helping young people experience the intrinsically collaborative process and product of theatre and art-making. Greg is the recipient of numerous awards for performance excellence, arts achievement, and educational service. He earned his MAT, Museum Education in the department of Educational Leadership from GWU; and his BA, Theatre Design from San Diego State University. Greg has also been a working artist and theatre designer for 20 years.
Cecelia A. Walls (Management Best Practices Panelist)
Cecelia Walls is Accreditation Coordinator for the American Association of Museums. She has been applying the best standards and practices in the field of museums for over 10 years. Combined with a bachelor of arts in historic preservation from Mary Washington College, a master of arts in museum studies from the University of Leicester in England, and extensive experience as a collections management professional having worked in museums of all sizes, Ms. Walls understands how non-profit museums work. Not only was she fortunate to have the opportunity, while studying abroad, to gain invaluable experience managing different kinds of collection as a work placement intern at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, she has also worked as the collections manager for a large country estate in Leesburg, Virginia known as Morven Park and as registrar for the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. At Morven Park, Ms. Walls applied her collections management knowledge to a collection of over 50,000 objects and archival materials. She then became registrar for the National Building Museum where she helped organize and manage incoming and outgoing loans, exhibitions, and a permanent collection of over 150,000 objects and archival materials. Since leaving the National Building Museum, Ms. Walls has been the accreditation content coordinator for the AAM. In this position she has gained first hand experience with the accreditation process and how museums apply the standards and best practices of the field to their individual circumstances. Ms. Walls recognizes how self-assessment and peer review help museums assess current practices allowing them to better serve their communities and audiences.
Patricia Eileen Williams (Career Development Session B Panelist)
Patricia Williams is has extensive experience in national, regional and local arts organizations. She is the owner and a principal in the Cultural Resources Management Group, LLC. As COO of Americans for the Arts she developed the organization’s communications strategies and vehicles including its website, in the process creating entrepreneurial opportunities for AFTA. She also implemented the grassroots membership in the Americans for the Arts Action Fund; the first national program to engage citizens in supporting the arts in America. Reached a membership of 20,000 individuals and raised funds for the related PAC. She served the American Association of Museums as Director of Accreditation and Vice President, Policy and Programs, and was responsible for all of the major research projects undertaken by AAM including the development and management of research strategies and reports, serving as project director for Museums Count, and the biannual Museum Finance Survey, as well as A Museum Guide to Copyright and Trademark. She worked on the development of a cultural heritage database for cultural tourism and was project director for Museums and Community at AAM. With the National Trust for Historic Preservation she was Chief of Research Resources, then Community Education Coordinator and finally Personnel Administrator. She also is a member of the Collections Committee of the Maryland Historical Society. Her extensive experience in local and regional heritage preservation includes: a founding member of the D.C. Preservation League and the Mt. Rainier Community Preservation League, and a founding board member of the Maryland Heritage Alliance (MHA). She has served as Chair of Prince George’s Heritage, Inc., and is currently Chair of The Accokeek Foundation. A Washington, DC native, Ms. Williams completed her BA at George Washington University with a double major history and secondary education, and graduate work in archives management, and received her graduate degree in Organizational Development from the University of Maryland.
Michael Wilkerson (Cultural Policy Panelist)
Michael Wilkerson is an associate professor for the Arts Management program at American University. Also a freelance writer, previously he has served as the director of two multidisciplinary artists’ residency programs, founding chair of a national service/advocacy organization, and as founding editor of a national literary magazine. For over two decades he has taught writing, arts management, literary interpretation and other courses at Indiana University, DePauw, University of Wisconsin and the School of the Art Institute. Specializing in cultural policy and artists' support systems, Michael has served as a grants panelist for the NEA and several other organizations. He has been on sabbatical for the spring 2010 working on a research project that links advocacy strategies with the lack of coordinated support for the creation of new work. Later this year he will be speaking on the state of arts management in academia and support for socially conscious artists at the International Conference on Arts and Society in Sydney, Australia and the Cultural Management Summit in Finland. He is married to writer Deborah Galyan and is the father of two sons, Dylan and Liam.