Growing up in the small town of Greenville, Pa., Michele Snyder didn’t have Hall of Fame aspirations; she simply wanted to follow her passions for writing and art.
After studying English literature and studio art at local Thiel College, Snyder began exploring ways her love for the arts could be shaped into a career.
“I was shopping around for a graduate program,” she said. “There are a lot of opportunities in the arts in Washington, both large and small, and I was really attracted to AU.”
Snyder earned a degree from AU’s arts management program in 1998 and has gone on to a career in development and public relations in the art world. An avid supporter of the arts who has lobbied Congress to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and other arts organizations, Snyder has been named the 2007 inductee to AU’s Department of Performing Arts (DPA) Hall of Fame.
“She’s made enormous contributions to the arts, and she’s an exemplary role model,” DPA chair Gail Humphries Mardirosian said of Snyder. “She is an extraordinary woman and a true leader.”
As a Hall of Fame inductee, Snyder’s name will be engraved in a plaque hanging in the Greenberg Theatre lobby, and she will deliver a lecture on campus in the spring. She also was awarded a $250 honorarium, which she donated to the DPA.
“I was really honored when I heard,” Snyder said of the honor. “I got a great foundation at AU. I really got an understanding of what a nonprofit is and how it works in every aspect from public relations to fund raising.”
Snyder wrote her thesis on Primary Movers, a small Washington-based dance company she discovered when its director spoke to her class. After graduating, she landed the prestigious Edward John
Noble Foundation Fellowship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There she worked in the development office writing grants and tending to corporate sponsorships.
Now director of development for the New York-based College Arts Association, an international nonprofit that offers a plethora of services to its member artists, Snyder still keeps a studio in Long Island City. She’s also working on a screenplay.
“It’s great to be honored by a school that really helped me get to where I am today,” she said.