DEVOS INSTITUTE FELLOWSHIP WELCOMES CLASS OF 2020

The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland welcomes a new class of seven arts managers to its Fellowship program. These seven Fellows will join 19 managers returning for their second and third years in the program.

The class will be in residence in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Maryland for a month-long arts management intensive led by DeVos Institute executives, consultants, and experts from the field. The Fellowship is a three-year program. Fellows beginning their first year will return for one month in both 2019 and 2020; Fellows in their second year will return for a third time in 2019 to complete the Fellowship; and Fellows in their third year will complete their final year in 2018.

This year’s seven fellows represent fewer than 3% of applicants. Biographies of the Institute’s Fellows are below, by class.

“At the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, we believe that creative practice is an essential expression of the dignity, aspirations, and achievements of individuals, communities, and societies. Further, we believe that art – and the dialogue it provokes – is an instrument of peace, and that pro-active support for creative practice as a platform for intercultural, and international, cooperation is required in a healthy global society,” said DeVos Institute President Brett Egan. “In our opinion, this carefully-selected group of individuals exemplify these beliefs and are positioned to make a massive difference in their respective fields. While the program lasts just three years, our commitment to these individuals is life-long.”

2020 Fellows
in the DeVos Institute
Fellowship
Studying in Washington, D.C. to Complete the First of the Three-Year Program

Name Position Organization City Country
Ivan Ghezzi Director National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru Lima Peru
Cayenne Harris Vice President, Lyric Unlimited Lyric Opera of Chicago Chicago, Illinois United States
Elham Khattab Founder and Director Out Of The Circle Organization Cairo Egypt
Michael Orlove Director of Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Artist Communities, and International Activities National Endowment for the Arts Washington, D.C. United States
María Olga Arias Sánchez General Director Morelia Music Festival Miguel Bernal Jiménez Morelia Mexico
Amy Thomas Managing Director Penumbra Theatre Saint Paul, Minnesota United States
Palencia Turner Chief Development Officer Idyllwild Arts Foundation Idyllwild, California United States

Ivan Ghezzi

Lima, Peru

Class of 2020

Director, National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru

mnaahp.cultura.pe

Dr. Ghezzi is a Peruvian archaeologist (Ph.D. Yale University) and Director of the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru. He has led research projects in many parts of Peru, supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren, the Field Museum, and the World Monuments Fund. His interests include the study of ancient complex societies, prehistoric war, ancient architecture, dating methods, and archaeoastronomy. He has published papers in top-ranked scientific journals, including Science, and chapters in academic and non-academic books. His archaeological findings have been reported in prestigious media outlets, from The New York Times to The Economist. Currently, he leads efforts for the study, conservation, and revalorization of the Chankillo archaeological site, which is being nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He also leads a project to study khipus, Peru´s mysterious system of encoding numerical and textual information in knotted strings. At the National Museum, he is overseeing a revival that has led to the renovation of exhibits and a strong increase in visitors.

Cayenne Harris

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Class of 2020

Vice President, Lyric Unlimited, Lyric Opera of Chicago

www.lyricopera.org

Cayenne Harris currently serves as Vice President, Lyric Unlimited for Lyric Opera of Chicago, having been appointed the first director of Lyric Unlimited in July 2012. As the lead administrator for Lyric's community engagement and audience development initiatives, Ms. Harris has played an essential role in the creation of Lyric Unlimited – its philosophy, structure, operation, and content. In this role, she has established and fostered partnerships with more than 50 Chicago-area organizations, commissioned four world premiere operas, and created a variety of innovative programs and performances. In collaboration with Lyric Opera Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, Harris planned and implemented Chicago Voices, a large scale, multi-year festival celebrating the human voice.

Prior to her role at Lyric Opera, she served in several roles with increasing responsibility at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, concluding her time there as Director of New Initiatives for the Institute for Learning, Access, and Training. Harris’ work at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra included the development of programming for incarcerated and at-risk youth; planning and implementation of a diversity fellowship program; overseeing the programming of family and educational concerts; the establishment of a youth in music festival; and management of projects collaboratively planned with community organizations to build and sustain the CSO's presence in Chicago's neighborhoods. Ms. Harris holds a Master of Music degree from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco State University.

Elham Khattab

Cairo, Egypt

Class of 2020

Founder and Director, Out Of The Circle Organization

www.outofthecircle.org

Elham Khattab graduated from Helwan University in 2004 with a major in graphic design. She started her arts management career at the Cairo International Film Festival (and Cairo International Film Festival for Children) as Program Coordinator. She then organized several exhibitions while working as Executive Exhibition Coordinator for El-Sawy Culture wheel (2006 – 2008).

In 2008, she raised funds for the first intake of the 'Out Of The Circle’ initiative, delivering a workshop and an exhibition for Egyptian and Syrian artists with the cooperation of All Art Now in Damascus. The project was funded by Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, and Beit Jabry in Syria. Since then, it has been the cradle for numerous visual and digital arts projects in Egypt and abroad. In addition, Ms. Khattab founded DI-EGY Fest in 2013 a digital art festival in Egypt that presents workshops, panel discussions, exhibitions, and DI-EGY kids for the children. The Festival is one of the main projects that Out Of The Circle presents for the audience in Egypt. The festival is funded by the British Council, the US Embassy, the Japan Foundation, the Netherlands Embassy, the French Institute, the Egyptian Culture Ministry, Darb 1718, Prohelvetia, and the Austrian Embassy in Cairo.

Ms. Khattab participated in the British Council’s cultural leadership international program, where she completed curating and arts criticism short courses from the University of Arts in London in 2012 and served as the curator in residence for British Council Cairo in 2012/2013. As part of the CrossCulture Programme (CCP) of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), she completed a curating internship in the arts mediation department at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig, Germany in October/November 2012. Finally, she completed a research residency with Prohelvetia, focusing on digital arts in Geneva, Zurich, and Basel in year 2015.

From 2005 till now, Ms. Khattab has participated in several local and international curatorial and arts management workshops and programs in Egypt, MENA, Europe, and the United states. She took part in the 2008 International Visitor Leadership Program, organized by the US Department of State and the International Meridian Centre. She is a member of Egypt's Syndicate of Plastic Artists, the global community of U.S government-sponsored exchange programs' alumni, and the Egyptian State Alumni Community in Egypt.

Ms. Khattab is currently working on DIGI MENA a mapping research project that maps digital artists from the Middle East and North Africa. DIGI MENA is happening with a project curators' team from North Africa, supported by the Goethe Institute and the German Federal Foreign Office.

Michael Orlove

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Class of 2020

Director of Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Artist Communities, and International Activities

National Endowment for the Arts

www.arts.gov

Michael Orlove has been Director of Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works and Artist Communities for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) since 2012. In October 2013, Michael also took over the NEA's International Activities. Previously, Orlove spent 19 years as senior program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. His tenure with the department led to nearly two decades of innovation, creativity, and passion for public service with the City of Chicago. Michael helped transform the Chicago Cultural Center into a prime downtown performing arts venue, as well as launched Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, two staples in the summer festival season. Michael also served as the director of music programming in Millennium Park since its grand opening in 2004 and helped establish many of the program series at that venue. Honors include being named one of the 'Chicagoans of the Year' in music by the Chicago Tribune in both 1999 and 2009, as well as one of Chicago's 'Global Visionaries' by Chicago Public Radio WBEZ and the Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham series. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago.

María Olga Arias Sánchez

Morelia, Mexico

Class of 2020

General Director, Morelia Music Festival Miguel Bernal Jiménez

http://festivalmorelia.mx

Ms. Sánchez is currently General Director of the Morelia Music Festival Miguel Bernal Jiménez in Morelia, Mexico, as well as General Director of the International Violoncello Competition Carlos Prieto. She has more than 20 years of experience in the organization of events, communications, and public relations, mainly focused on the cultural field. Until July 2016, she was in charge of communications and institutional marketing at the Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts (CMMAS). She has also worked as a content analyst for the Ibero-American Portal of Cultural Management and a tutor for the master's degree in Cultural Management of the University of Barcelona. She worked as Director of Image and Development for the Conservatorio de las Rosas for several years, as well as Manager for the Morelia Music Festival during 3 editions. Her efforts are focused on art and culture as engines for city development.

Ms. Sánchez is the Founder and Director of MC, Ep Consultoria, Evento al Punto for 9 years. One of her main interests is social welfare and the creation of projects that can promote the improvement of her society. She considers that what she enjoys the most is the management of events and projects that lead her to constantly meeting new and interesting places, people, and situations.

Ms. Sánchez holds a degree in Communication Sciences, a Master's Degree in Cultural Management, and Diploma in Management and Cultural Policies, all from the University of Barcelona. These studies were possible thanks to a grant from the National Fund for Culture and the Arts. She is a Certified Meetings Specialist, and also completed the Harvard Manage Mentor Diploma.

Amy Thomas

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

Class of 2020
Managing Director, Penumbra Theatre 
https://penumbratheatre.org

Amy Thomas is currently Managing Director of Penumbra Theatre in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has over 17 years of management experience with performing arts organizations ranging from university presenters (ArtPower!, UC San Diego) to multi-genre producers (The Broad Stage, Santa Monica). Under Thomas' leadership, Penumbra recently underwent a major brand refresh to usher in a new era for the nation's preeminent African American theatre. She was part of the creative and management team behind The Loft, a 250-capacity performance lounge, restaurant, and bar voted "Best Venue in San Diego." Thomas was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley; she holds a B.A. in Visual Arts – Art History and Media from the University of California, San Diego. 

Palencia Turner

Pasadena, California, United States

Class of 2020

Chief Development Officer, Idyllwild Arts Foundation

www.idyllwildarts.org

Palencia J. Turner is an institutional advancement strategist with nearly two decades experience leading fundraising efforts, public affairs, fund development, community engagement, and marketing programs for organizations in the education, non-profit, and government sectors.

She joined Idyllwild Arts Foundation as Chief Development Officer in July 2015 and works closely with the President and Head of School to create a sustainable foundation for Development. She is a member of the Leadership Team and leads the Development Department in the areas of Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Special Events, Planned Giving, Alumni and Parents Relations, Foundation Relations, and Development Services. 

Before arriving at Idyllwild Arts, Palencia was the Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer for KCET Public Television Station where she was in charge of Development and Membership for the organization, and was a member of the President’s senior staff. In her role at KCET, Palencia led Member & Viewer Services, Membership, Special Events, Corporate Sponsorship, Individual and Campaign Giving, Foundation Relations, and Development Operations raising $28,000,000 annually.

Prior to joining KCET, Palencia was Senior Development Officer for Art Center College of Design, served as Director of Community & Fund Development for the Urban Education Partnership—now the Los Angeles Education Partnership—and worked as Government Affairs Manager and Legislative Representative for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office during both the Richard Riordan and James K. Hahn administrations.

Palencia is currently Vice Chair of the Pasadena Fire Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of MUSE/IQUE. She previously served on the City of Pasadena’s Arts & Culture Commission for over 6 years.

She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Master of Policy Management and Howard University receiving a Bachelors of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science, both institutions located in our nation’s capital.

2019 Fellows
in the DeVos Institute
Fellowship
Studying in Washington, D.C. to Complete the Second of the Three-Year Program

Name Position Organization City Country
Ekundayo Bandele Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hattiloo Theatre Memphis, Tennessee United States
Benjamin Dietschi Executive Director Soundstreams Toronto Canada
Rick Heath Executive Director Performing Arts Connections Australia Perth Australia
Tanya Hilton Executive Director CulturalDC Washington, D.C. United States
Martin Pošta Chief Executive Officer SIGNAL Festival Prague Czech Republic
Alma Salem Independent Curator and Cultural Advisor Syria Sixth Space Contemporary Arts Touring Curatorial Platform Montreal Canada

Ekundayo Bandele

Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Class of 2019

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hattiloo Theatre

www.hattiloo.org

Ekundayo Bandele is from the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. He attended both Tennessee State University and Morehouse College, but left before obtaining a degree to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur. In 2006, he founded Hattiloo Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee.

As the theatre's artistic leader, he has directed several plays that include August Wilson's "Fences”, and he worked as assistant director to Ruben Santiago-Hudson on “Paradise Blue” that starred TV & film star Blair Underwood. As Hattiloo’s administrative leader, he spearheaded a $4.3M capital campaign that resulted in the construction of Hattiloo’s venue in Memphis, Tennessee’s popular Overton Square, and a second capital campaign that raised $900,000 for the construction of the Hattiloo Development Center.

Ekundayo gives back to the community by serving as chairman of Mayor Strickland’s Youth Guidance Commission. He is chairman of the Memphis Branding Initiative, and serves as a member on the boards of the Overton Park Conservancy and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Benjamin Dietschi

Toronto, Canada

Class of 2019

Executive Director, Soundstreams

www.soundstreams.ca

Ben Dietschi is currently Executive Director of Soundstreams where, with Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney C.M., he provides leadership for one of Canada’s leading contemporary music companies. Long-term planning, entrepreneurialism, partnership building, and community outreach define Ben’s approach. He received the Brandon University Distinguished Alumni award (2017) and frequently speaks at industry events. His experience rests on formative years as a saxophonist and composer, performing across North America and Europe. Musical innovation is a life’s work for Ben. He is passionate about bringing contemporary Canadian music to a wider audience, believing in its wide cultural relevance.


Rick Heath

Perth, Australia

Class of 2019

Executive Director – Performing Arts Connections Australia

www.apaca.com.au

Rick has worked in the performing arts industry across Australia as a producer, presenter, programmer, tour manager, consultant, and advocate. He is the Executive Director of Performing Arts Connections Australia [formerly the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA)] and Director of Push Management Pty Ltd, a strategy, planning, and project management consultancy for the arts industry. Rick graduated from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Stage Management and also holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing).

Rick has Chaired and been a Board member of several arts organisations and grant assessment and award panels. He is currently Chair of the Helpmann Awards Presentation for Children Panel, a member of the Panel for Regional Touring, and a board member of The Last Great Hunt.

Rick was Project Facilitator for Future Moves, a $1.6M government initiative for the development of Contemporary Dance in Western Australia. He co-wrote Australia’s first National Touring Framework with Harley Stumm and recently completed a 5-year touring strategy for the state of Western Australia. He is an authority on touring in Australia. Rick is a cultural advocate. He has a passion for strategic audience development and nurturing connections between art-makers and presenters. He believes strongly in the ability of the performing arts to inspire people to think differently.

Tanya Hilton

Washington, D.C., United States

Class of 2019

Executive Director, CulturalDC

www.culturaldc.org

Tanya Hilton was announced as the permanent executive director of CulturalDC in April 2017. In the 18 months she served as interim executive director, Hilton increased corporate giving, created new artist opportunities, and orchestrated the company’s first ever daylong arts and urban innovation summit, bringing together artists, developers, and thought-leaders from across the country for VISIONDC.

With over 25 years of experience in technology and organization development, Hilton has directed senior executives in public and private sectors. After Hilton started her career with IBM, she translated her technology experience into large-scale organization transformations through an IBM-sponsored MBA program at Harvard University. She led consulting practices in the non-profit, private, and public sectors for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Her innovative work with non-profit organizations continued through her consulting group, Hilton Advisors LLC and with her leadership with Educational Foundation for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Beyond her career in technology and organization development, Hilton was also a performing artist in the U.S. and Europe.

Martin Pošta

Prague, Czech Republic

Class of 2019

Chief Executive Officer, SIGNAL Festival

www.signalfestival.com



Martin Pošta is the founder and CEO of numerous significant cultural events. He studied at the University of Economics and the Film Academy of Performing Arts, both in Prague. In 2013, Mr. Pošta founded the SIGNAL Festival, the largest cultural event in the Czech Republic. Since its founding, the Festival’s unique integration of art, urban space, and modern technology has attracted more than 2 million viewers to the stage of Prague’s downtown. Mr. Pošta worked many years at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where he founded the festival of film debuts – Fresh Film Fest. Martin also founded the International Festival of Contemporary Design designSUPERMARKET.

Martin is also the producer of the video mapping group The Macula, which is famous for its video mapping of the Old Town Hall’s astronomic clock in Prague. In addition to Prague, Martin has also completed video mapping projects in Dubai, Liverpool, Bucharest, and many other destinations. 

Currently, Martin is preparing for his sixth year of the SIGNAL Festival, for which he is also co-producing the animated feature film Even Mice Belong in Heaven.

Alma Salem

Montreal, Canada

Class of 2019

Independent Curator and Cultural Advisor, Syria Sixth Space 

www.almasalem.com/syria-sixth-space

Alma Salem is an independent curator and cultural advisor recognized for her knowledge and expertise in producing hundreds of cultural projects across all arts forms. Her work has spanned international cultural relations, heritage protection, the visual and performing arts, cultural entrepreneurship, and arts in development and Resilience. Born in Damascus, she resides in Montreal, Canada, where she continues her work with artists around the globe. She is a recognized cultural militant who has worked with the British Council between 2006 and 2015 in varied positions marked by five years of leading its Middle East and North Africa regional arts programmes across 17 Arab countries, the UK and Europe. From 1995 to 2006, she worked at the Near East French Institute as its cultural resources manager. During this time, she published the book Photographies du Levant showcasing a ten-year project preserving the visual heritage of the Levant in partnership with the EU, the French National Center for Scientific Research, and many Levant-based museums. Alma Salem is the founder and senior curator of the touring contemporary arts platform Syria Sixth Space.

2018 Fellows
in the DeVos Institute
Fellowship
Returning to Washington, D.C. to Complete the Third of the Three-Year Program

Name Position Organization City Country
Iiris Autio Managing Director Tero Saarinen Company Helsinki Finland
Karim Baer Independent Independent San Francisco, California United States
Alison Clark National Director, Combined Arts Arts Council England Manchester United Kingdom
Sigal Cohen Director of International Relations and Development Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv Tel Aviv Israel
DeAnna Cummings Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Juxtaposition Arts Minneapolis, Minnesota United States
Elaine Delgado Director of Individual Giving Tenement Museum New York, New York United States
Suha Khuffash Independent Arts Programmer & Adviser, Disability & Arts Policies Ramallah Palestine
Bryan Joseph Lee Associate Director of Special Artistic Projects Public Theater New York, New York United States
Peter McDowell American Friends of the Louvre Museum Director of Development Los Angeles, California United States
Stosh Mintek Executive Director Ghetto Film School Los Angeles, California United States
Debbie Ng Program Officer in Community Investments San Francisco Arts Commission San Francisco, California United States
Steinunn Birna Ragnarsdóttir Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director Icelandic Opera Reykjavík Iceland
Bradley Wade Renner General Manager Atlanta Ballet Atlanta, Georgia United States

Iiris Autio

Helsinki, Finland

Class of 2018

Managing Director, Tero Saarinen Company

www.terosaarinen.com

Managing Director Iiris Autio has led Tero Saarinen Company, one of Northern Europe’s most prominent dance groups, since 2001. Exemplary shared leadership between Ms. Autio and choreographer Saarinen has been one of the key factors in the Company’s international success. Today, TSC is one of Finland’s leading cultural exports.

After receiving her Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Helsinki in 1992, Ms. Autio specialized in marketing, production and management of contemporary dance. In 2000-2001, she coordinated a large-scale Finnish contemporary dance season in London and completed a Master’s degree in Arts Management at London City University.

Alongside her work, Ms. Autio has served as a specialist member on a number of creative economy and cultural export working groups for Finnish government ministries. She is currently on the Boards of the internationally renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival and Helsinki Dance House – a new organization and dance venue due to open in Helsinki in 2020. In 2016, she was nominated to a government-working group preparing a proposal for the Finnish Parliament on the reform of the funding system for museums, theatres (including dance and circus) and orchestras. She also lectures regularly.

Karim Baer

San Francisco, California, United States

Class of 2018

Former Executive Director, Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Karim Baer is an arts administrator who believes art is a basic human need. Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco, California. Previously, Mr. Baer served as the Director of Public Programs and Performances for the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he developed and arts and ideas program featuring artists and public intellectuals from a variety of disciplines. Mr. Baer has also held positions in the mental health and holistic health fields. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has made the San Francisco Bay Area home for the last 15 years. His time living in the South and the Bay Area has given him a sense for the importance of using the arts as a tool to bring communities together.

Alison Clark

Manchester, United Kingdom

Class of 2018

National Director, Combined Arts; Arts Council England

Skills, Training & Education Lead; The Factory, Manchester International Festival

www.artscouncil.org.uk

www.factorymanchester.com

Alison Clark is the national Director for Combined Arts (festivals, outdoor arts and events and cross-artform venues) for Arts Council England, England’s national development and funding agency for arts and culture. She leads, and is the architect of, the £35.2 million Ambition for Excellence funding program. Between June 2017 and July 2018 she will develop an innovative international skills, education and training strategy lead for Factory Manchester, the major new interdisciplinary arts production space in Manchester due to open in 2020. She has a particular interest and expertise in collaborative business models and has been a regular contributor to arts and culture publications, including Guardian Culture Professionals. She has previously held senior roles in festival development and in arts policy-making for local government, and was a director for the arts education program Creative Partnerships. She began her arts career in cross-artform venue and festival marketing.

Sigal Cohen

Tel Aviv, Israel

Class of 2018

Director of International Relations and Development, Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv

www.cameri.co.il

Sigal Cohen is the Director of International Relations and Development at the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv. She is an Israeli art and culture curator and producer who specializes in the management of national and international public cultural events and institutions. Previously, she served as an Arts Officer at the British Council office in Tel Aviv and as Producer of the first Bat-Yam Biannual for Landscape Urbanism. She also founded and directed the International Department of Bat-Yam Municipality and founded the Cultural Green House “Art Factory” in Bat-Yam. In addition, Ms. Cohen directed the Israeli Actors Guild (SHACHAM) and Hazira- Interdisciplinary Arts Arena, Jerusalem. Currently, Ms. Cohen is producing the International Exposure of Israeli Drama, the ISRADRAMA International Events, and The Israeli Pavilion at the Prague Quadranela, on behalf of the Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama. Ms. Cohen also represents Barak Marshall, the acclaimed Israeli-American choreographer, whose work is produced internationally Recently, Cohen was also involved as research and casting Director for the Wajdi Mouawad's first production as Artistic Director at National Theatre La Colinn, in Paris, "Tous des oiseaux", of the Israeli actors and translator part.


DeAnna Cummings

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Class of 2018

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Juxtaposition Arts

www.juxtapositionarts.org

DeAnna Dodds Cummings is the CEO and Co-Founder of Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA), a cultural development center and teen-staffed design firm in North Minneapolis. Ms. Cummings creates authentic opportunities for people to exercise leadership and pursue self-sufficiency through hands-on engagement in the arts. Under Cummings’ leadership, JXTA has shifted from an afterschool enrichment model to a social enterprise model that trains and employs youth as a springboard to higher education and careers in art and design.

She has presented about equity in the arts, locally rooted creative place-making, leadership, social entrepreneurship, and asset-based youth development at universities and museums across the country. Ms. Cummings is a 2016 Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Awardee. Minnesota Public Radio named Cummings a 2013 Arts Hero. She is a 2007 Archibald Bush Leadership Fellow and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Archibald Bush Foundation in 2014. Ms. Cummings recently presented at the United Nations to millennial philanthropists interested in impact investing. Ms. Cummings holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.


Elaine Delgado

New York, New York, United States

Class of 2018

Director of Individual Giving, Tenement Museum

www.tenement.org

Elaine Delgado is the Director of Individual Giving at the Tenement Museum, an institution that preserves the history of immigration through the personal accounts of those who pursued their American dreams on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At the Tenement Museum, Ms. Delgado focuses on Major Gifts and has a particular interest in building a strong nexus between the Tenement Museum and its donors through storytelling, genuine experiences, and targeted relationship building.

Ms. Delgado served as Director of Development at the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York City from 2015 to 2017. As the first Director of Development of the Society, she led the day-to-day operations of the Development Office. Together with the Board and staff leadership, Ms. Delgado helped to develop Board capacity, secure leadership pledges for the capital campaign, and create an International Advisory Council. During her tenure, the Hispanic Society increased its Board membership; received the first six-figure gift from an individual for its capital campaign; and received government and foundation support for its capital campaign and educational programs.

Ms. Delgado’s previous work experience includes positions as Director of Marketing and Individual Giving at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education (Bronx, New York), Director of the Visual Arts Program at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (San Juan, Puerto Rico), and Capital Campaign Manager at the Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce/Guaynabo, Puerto Rico). From 2008 to 2010, she helped raise $6.6 million dollars for the Museo de Arte de Ponce’s first capital campaign. During her tenure at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, Ms. Delgado worked with the Executive Director and Board of Trustees to develop and implement a 5-year strategic plan, and helped increase fundraising at an average annual rate of 13 percent (from $1.9 million in 2012 to more than $3 million in 2015).

Ms. Delgado is a member of the board of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, an organization that is dedicated to nurturing and developing Puerto Rican and Latino arts in the Lower East Side. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in Puerto Rican Studies from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe.


Suha Khuffash

Ramallah, Palestine

Class of 2018

Arts Programmer & Adviser on Disability and Arts Policies

As the Arts Programme Manager for the British Council in Palestine (2008-2017), Suha managed a portfolio of local and regional arts projects designed to enhance intercultural dialogue, creativity, and positive social change. Her special focus is on planning and running arts projects that connect artists and art organisations worldwide, build capacities, promote freedom of expression, and challenge stereotypes. Suha first joined the British Council in 2000 and have extensive experience across the organization’s different programs.

Her ethos is that the arts can empower marginalized communities and disabled people by providing them with creative and safe spaces to express themselves, and where they can develop self-confidence. She is currently in the process of establishing a new organisation in Palestine that will use the arts in vulnerable communities to foster creativity and raise social awareness around disability related issues. 

Suha has been selected by the Singapore International Foundation to join the 2017/2018 Artists for A Better World fellowship, which explores how the arts can create positive social change for people with disabilities.

Bryan Joseph Lee

New York, New York, United States

Class of 2018

Associate Director of Special Artistic Projects, Public Theater

www.publictheater.org

Bryan Joseph Lee is the Associate Director of Special Artistic Projects at The Public Theater, an artist-driven, radically inclusive, fundamentally democratic theater company in New York, NY. In this role, Mr. Lee produces audience engagement programs and local touring productions that bring theater directly to underserved communities in all five boroughs of New York City.

Previously, Mr. Lee was Director of Marketing & Communications at Round House Theatre, a regional theater company in Bethesda, Maryland. At Round House, Mr. Lee oversaw earned revenue and institutional marketing, with a specific interest in cultivating diverse audiences through authentic and targeted relationship building. Mr. Lee has guided numerous audience engagement initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally, including recent projects in Salem, Oregon and Alexandria, Egypt. 

Mr. Lee was recently elected by Americans for the Arts to serve on the Emerging Leaders Council, which aims to connect and serve young arts managers nationwide. In 2016, Mr. Lee was also named a Rising Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group (TCG). He has served on the Board of Governors for theatre Washington, a service organization dedicated to representing the theatre community in the nation’s capital. Previously, Mr. Lee worked with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and SOURCE Festival in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a degree in Latin American Studies and Theater.

Peter McDowell

Los Angeles, California, United States

Class of 2018

Director of Development, American Friends of the Louvre Museum

https://aflouvre.org/

Based in Los Angeles, Peter McDowell is Director of Development for American Friends of the Louvre, an organization created to support the Louvre’s efforts to share its cultural resources with the world. The organization’s New York office opened in 2004 and activities are now being expanded to the West Coast. Peter McDowell is an arts management expert with more than two decades of experience serving artists and organizations at the highest level. He has held leadership positions at OPERA America, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and most recently as managing director of the GRAMMY-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird. His firm, Peter McDowell Arts Consulting, offers a wide range of strategic career services for performing artists. As a publicist, Peter has garnered press coverage for his clients in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, and many other important outlets. Peter is in demand as a speaker and workshop leader on diverse topics in career development and arts entrepreneurship. He has been an invited presenter at the Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Chicago College for the Performing Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). He is also a documentary filmmaker and is currently at work on his full-length feature, Jimmy in Saigon. Peter received a B.A. in French Commercial Studies at the University of Illinois and an M.A. in Arts Administration from the University Wisconsin-Madison.

Stosh Mintek

Los Angeles, California, United States

Class of 2018

Executive Director, Ghetto Film School

www.ghettofilm.org

A 2003 graduate of Yale University with a double-major in English and Film Studies, Stosh Mintek has worked at Ghetto Film School (GFS) since 2004. As Program Director (2004-2008), he produced GFS international film shoots in Paris, Kampala, and Rio de Janeiro, as well as hundreds of short films in New York City. As Director of Development and Special Projects (2008-2012), Stosh supervised the implementation of $2.5 million in capital funding to build the South Bronx Post House, and designed and launched GFS MasterClass, a unique initiative that delivers GFS’ award-winning arts education model on a global scale.

In 2012, Stosh oversaw the activation of Digital Bodega (DB), a full-service production company run by top GFS alumni. DB operates out of the South Bronx Post House, creating bespoke media solutions for corporate clients like Sony, Nike, Atlantic Records, and JP Morgan. In 2014, Stosh relocated to Los Angeles to become Executive Director of GFS LA, the west coast division of GFS. In its first three years of operation, GFS LA has served over 100 young Angelenos with outstanding film training and resources through its signature Fellows Program, and has student-produced international short films in Tokyo, London, and Tel Aviv. As an independent filmmaker, Stosh has written, shot, directed, edited, and produced numerous short films, music videos, animations, and documentaries that have screened in national and international film festivals. He is also an alum of Columbia Business School’s Institute for Nonprofit Management.

Debbie Ng

San Francisco, California, United States

Class of 2018

Program Officer in Community Investments, San Francisco Arts Commission

www.sfartscommission.org

Debbie Ng is a Program Officer in Community Investments at the San Francisco Arts Commission, the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment, and shaping innovative cultural policy.

Since 1998, she has worked for nonprofit organizations serving underserved communities in the areas of youth development, education, and independent media in the San Francisco Bay Area, with fundraising, philanthropy, and communications as key components of her work. Most recently, Ms. Ng was the Director of External Affairs at the Center for Asian American Media where she led the organization's fundraising and institutional marketing strategies for eight years. She has also worked at the Haas Center for Social Sector Leadership at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, overseeing their rebrand and model experiential learning program, Berkeley Board Fellows. She collaborated with Dr. Nora Silver on the book, Telling the Whole Story: Voices of Ethnic Volunteers in America. Debbie co-produced the award-winning film Kieu, a modern-day telling of the 19th century Vietnamese poem, The Tale of Kieu. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s degree in Feminist Studies (with honors), with an emphasis on race, class, and gender.

Steinunn Birna Ragnarsdóttir

Reykjavík, Iceland

Class of 2018

Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Icelandic Opera

www.opera.is/en

Steinunn has been the Artistic Director and CEO of the Icelandic Opera since June 2015. Born in Reykjavík and studied music from an early age, she earned her Master’s degree in Piano Performance from NEC, Boston in 1987. Steinunn lived in Spain for a couple of years after graduating and performed frequently in many international festivals. She has received various awards for her performances and appeared in concerts in Europe and in the USA. Vigorous performer of solo and chamber music she has also recorded several CD-s. Her solo performances as a pianist with the Iceland Symphony have been issued on CD´s, including an album that earned her the 1998 Icelandic Music Award for the year’s best classical CD. She is the founder of the Reykholt Music Festival and was the Artistic Director until she took on the position of the Artistic Director of Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík from 2010. She was a member of the City Council of Reykjavík in 2002-2004 and Vice President of the Cultural committee of Reykjavík. She has been an Artistic leader for many years in Iceland and mentors young arts leaders and managers. She currently sits on the Board of ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) and is the Head of the Governance committee and the Icelandic Performing Arts Association (SSÍ). She appears frequently as a lecturer and member of panels in various International conferences.

Bradley Wade Renner

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Class of 2018

General Manager, Atlanta Ballet

www.atlantaballet.com

Bradley Renner is the General Manager of Atlanta Ballet, where he manages the financial and administrative business for the artistic and production department. He assumed this role in April 2014 after holding the position of Company Manager for three years. He is currently project managing the creation of Atlanta Ballet’s new Nutcracker that will premiere in December 2018. Previously, he was a professional actor and performed with the Alliance Theater, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre. Mr. Renner received his master’s degree in arts administration from Shenandoah University and received a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts with a minor in Dance from Point Park University.

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