Exploring the Field: Equitable Philanthropy in the Arts

Recorded On: 12/16/2021


About this Webinar

December 16 at 3:00pm ET

David Holland and Sandra Aponte, experienced leaders in the philanthropy sector, will offer insights into their professional journeys in the arts sector, and the path that led them to leadership roles in philanthropy. This moderated session will center their experiences as people of color navigating the field. They will discuss what it means to be grant makers and will talk through some of the challenges and advice they have for emerging leaders interested in working in foundations, trusts, or other philanthropic institutions.

Participants will walk away with:

  • A sense of how philanthropy can be a strategic tool for change;
  • A push to self-reflect about where they want to be in this field;
  • and ideas of what actions and next steps to take to improve the field.


We are pleased to be able to offer registration support for those with limited resources who wish to register for this session. Sign up for the ArtsU Support program here. 

The Arts & Cultural Equity Studio | Emerging Leaders collection provides emerging arts administrators access to tailored training aimed at helping them develop the skills needed to advance in the arts management field. ACES is a three-part professional development collection spanning all topics regarding cultural equity in arts administration and career advancement. You can register for the full collection here.

Sandra Aponte

Community Impact Manager

The Chicago Community Trust

Sandra Aponte is program manager of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust. In this role, Aponte manages the Trust’s strategic efforts in strengthening the social impact sector. Her portfolio also includes support for arts, culture and creativity. Aponte leads the SMART Growth program, an evidence-based capacity building program.

Aponte re-joined the Trust in 2013 to serve as a program officer overseeing the arts and culture portfolio that included capacity building, arts education and audience development. Aponte brings over 15 years of experience working in the arts and education field. Prior to joining the Trust, she was the school partnerships and programs manager at The Field Museum, leading collaborative partnerships among institutions, universities and education systems to deliver educator professional development and student programs.

From 2006 to 2009, Aponte participated in the Fellowship in Arts and Culture Management program by The Chicago Community Trust—a highly selective, rigorous initiative that provided leadership experience through residencies at some of the most renowned cultural institutions throughout the city, including the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry and John G. Shedd Aquarium. Aponte’s professional experience also includes serving as the development manager for the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, program manager for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science and an art gallery business manager.

Aponte earned a master’s degree in business with a concentration in international business from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology. Aponte is co-chair of the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development and serves as board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.

David Holland

Deputy Director

Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)

David Holland is the Deputy Director at WESTAF. He leads its advocacy and public policy programs and serves as the primary liaison with federal agencies, regional arts organizations, state and local arts agencies, and state arts advocacy groups. He also leads WESTAF’s leadership and professional development programming, grantmaking, and technical assistance and consulting services across teams. Holland previously served as associate director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and in leadership and senior management positions with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) da Vinci Center for Innovation, VCU School of the Arts, ART 180, the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Arts & Business, and the UK innovation foundation Nesta. Holland began his career with BOP Consulting, a global consultancy on culture and the creative industries, leading projects for government departments, public agencies, universities, and international organizations as a senior consultant. He is also as an independent management consultant working primarily with clients in the arts and culture field both nationally and internationally. He serves as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and Colorado Creative Industries. He also serves on the Cultural Advocacy Group. He is a Salzburg Global Fellow, Commager Fellow, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Holland holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and master’s degrees in international studies and diplomacy and the history of art from the University of London, SOAS.


Exploring the Field: Equitable Philanthropy in the Arts
Live event: 12/16/2021 at 3:00 PM (EST) You must register to access.
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