Tanya Surtees

Director, Capacity Building Programs

Tanya Surtees first came to America in 2008 when she became one of two South Africans to be awarded a three-year International Summer Arts Management Fellowship under Michael Kaiser’s leadership at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After handing over the executive leadership of FTH:K, her theatre company co-founded in South Africa, she moved to the U.S. permanently to work with Quest Visual Theatre as the Festival Coordinator for QuestFest, its two-week, international festival. In 2014, the Institute approached her to assist in producing the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, and on closing that project, invited her to stay on in the capacity of Coordinator for both international and domestic capacity building programs. Shortly after, she was asked to serve as Manager of Domestic Capacity Building Programs, before moving into her current role as Director: Capacity Building Programs. This position sees her overseeing all training programs run by the Institute, the largest of which being the initial Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program that included 262 participating organizations from Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Presently, she manages AIM II with 232 organizations across Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC, while also overseeing capacity building programs in Palm Beach, Oregon, and the UK.

With two post-graduate degrees from Rhodes University, she has a background in arts management, event planning, live performance, and arts education. She has also worked extensively within the field of arts and disability, with a specific focus on integrating diverse communities. She has co-authored learner books for Oxford University Press, Maskew Miller Longman, and Cambridge University Press, and is fluent in English, French, and South African Sign Language.

tgsurtees (at)

Aisha Wolo

Executive Coordinator and Research Associate

Aisha Wolo supports the Institute's President and senior staff who deliver training programs and consulting services for national and international clients. Ms. Wolo has a background in arts administration and has worked with the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Phillips Collection and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. She earned her master's in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and her bachelor's from Virginia Tech in Communication with a minor in Art History.

acwolo (at)

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