Amy Adkins has devoted the past 19 years of her career to arts administration and fundraising. She is in her fourth season as President and CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, following nine years as Vice President of Development for the organization.
During her first three years at the helm, Ms. Adkins has overseen development of the FWSO’s five-year strategic plan, facilitated by the Kennedy Center; negotiated a progressive, three-year contract with the Musicians’ Union; and worked with Texas Ballet Theater to restore live music in 2014, the first time in six years. Under her leadership, the FWSO also achieved record-breaking attendance and revenue during the 2014 Concerts in the Garden Summer Music Festival.
As Vice President of Development, Ms. Adkins accomplished record-breaking fundraising results, including an unprecedented 42 percent increase in both corporate sponsorships and foundation giving. She oversaw such successful campaigns as the drive to fund the Orchestra’s 2008 Carnegie Hall tour and managed the first $1 million Gala in 2006 honoring Van Cliburn.
Music education is a passion for Ms. Adkins. Twelve years of piano study led to her first career teaching music in Duncanville, Texas, followed by three years as Education Coordinator at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the mid-’90s. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with a specialization in music from Texas Tech University. Prior fundraising experience included work for Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration Fort Worth and Business Volunteers for the Arts.
Devon M. Akmon
Devon Akmon became the second director of the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in 2013, succeeding founding director Dr. Anan Ameri.
Mr. Akmon joined the AANM as curator of community history shortly before the museum opened in 2005; was promoted to deputy director in 2009; and assumed control of daily operations in 2012. Under his aegis, the AANM was named one of just 160 Affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution and achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a seal of approval earned by just 6 percent of American cultural institutions. As director, Mr. Akmon has established new relationships with individuals and organizations that have resulted in the expansion of the museum’s mission and programming throughout the nation. Most recently, Mr. Akmon has overseen the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community art space immediately adjacent to the museum.
In addition to leading the AANM, Mr. Akmon is a board member of CultureSource, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and The CivCity Initiative. He serves on advisory councils for the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kresge Arts in Detroit, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University.
Mr. Akmon earned his Master of Science in Historic Preservation at Eastern Michigan University. He is a graduate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Emerging Leaders Class IX and Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV. In 2013, Mr. Akmon was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” business leaders.
Dominick Balletta became the first Managing Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center in May 2008, following seven years as General Manager of New York City’s Film Forum. Since 2011, he has served as an Advisor to the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, working with organizations globally on issues of strategic planning.
Mr. Balletta also produces for theater and film. Film credits include Executive Producer of Another Telepathic Thing and Associate Producer of I’m Carolyn Parker, both directed by Jonathan Demme. Theatrically, he received a 2009 Tony Award nomination as a producer of Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda and was the longtime General Manager/Producer for Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project (1997-2010). He has served as a panelist for multiple New York State Council on the Arts grant programs, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, ArtsWestchester, and CEC/ArtsLink.
Christy Bolingbroke is the Deputy Director for Advancement at ODC Theater, overseeing curation and performance programming as well as marketing and development organization-wide.
Since joining ODC in 2011, the organization’s programming has been recognized for Ms. Bolingbroke’s curatorial choices showcasing quality and aesthetic diversity from the emerging to mid-career artists with a variety of entry points for audiences. Previously, she was the Director of Marketing at the Mark Morris Dance Group where her achievements included increasing ticket sales in tour markets worldwide and activating Access/MMDG events in such major hub cities as Seattle, Houston, Boston, New York, and Berkeley.
Ms. Bolingbroke earned a B.A. in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a graduate of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management Fellowship program. She is a former Board President of the Dance Resource Center of Greater Los Angeles, a founding member of Emerging Leaders for New York Arts, and current board member of California Presenters.
Jean Davidson was appointed President and CEO of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2015. The country's largest professional chorus, the Los Angeles Master Chorale performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. The organization is one of the four resident companies of The Music Center along with the LA Philharmonic, LA Opera, and Center Theatre Group.
Previously, she served as the chief executive of New York Live Arts. As Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Davidson ensured that New York Live Arts fulfilled its mission, realized its vision and achieved its institutional goals. She oversaw the institution’s $6.8 million budget, 106 employees, and 20,000 square foot facility that housed a 184-seat theater and rehearsal studios.
From 2009-2011, Ms. Davidson was instrumental in leading the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company through its merger with Dance Theater Workshop to create New York Live Arts. She held a six-year term as Executive Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. During her tenure, the budget increased from $2.2 million to $3.2 million and touring revenue increased by 25 percent.
Previously, she served as the Managing Director of the Silk Road Project, a not-for-profit music organization founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. During her tenure the Project commissioned 25 chamber works, launched a worldwide tour, released three recordings, created an educational initiative and co-produced the 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival that drew a record 4.5 million visitors and included over 400 artists from 26 countries. Ms. Davidson has held positions at the American Conservatory Theater, the Theater and Dance Program at Oberlin College, the American Dance Festival, and the Cleveland Play House.
Ms. Davidson is an Oberlin College alumna.
Aaron P. Dworkin
Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a former member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee, and President Obama's first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Aaron P. Dworkin serves as Dean of the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance, which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation.
Mr. Dworkin is also founder of The Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization for transforming lives through the power of diversity and the arts. A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, and educator, he continually receives national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. He founded the Dworkin Foundation, where he serves as chairman.
Mr. Dworkin is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Honorary Membership, Harvard University’s Vosgerchian Teaching Award, National Governors Association 2005 Distinguished Service to State Government Award, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Who’s Who Awards, BET’s History Makers in the Making Award, and National Black MBA’s Entrepreneur of The Year. In 2013, the Curtis Institute of Music awarded an honorary doctorate to Mr. Dworkin. Mr. Dworkin recorded and produced two CDs, entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk, in addition to writing, producing, and directing the independent film Deliberation.
An accomplished electric and acoustic violinist, Mr. Dworkin earned his bachelors of music and masters of music in violin performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, graduating with high honors. Mr. Dworkin offers a uniquely strong organizational, fundraising, and administrative background combined with an unwavering passion for music and its role in society. As dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, he leads a world-class faculty of 150 and a staff of 90 while administering a budget of $44 million and an endowment in excess of $140 million. As founder of the Sphinx Organization, Mr. Dworkin created an organization with a staff and faculty of over 40 and a budget of $5 million that awards more than $1 million in prizes and scholarships annually.