National Arts Action Summit 2021

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Please Note: All sessions from the 2021 National Arts Action Summit were recorded. We are currently in the process of editing content. Once uploaded, we will send out correspondence announcing that the content is ready for viewing.

BEFORE YOU REGISTER: 

You must have an account with Americans for the Arts to register. If you do not have an account, click the CREATE AN ACCOUNT button. You will then be directed to the Americans for the Arts website to create your account. Once you have created your account, you must return to your cart on ArtsU to complete your registration for the event. Please see the below “How To Register” section for more details on registering.


REGISTRATION RATES 

National Arts Action Summit Full Package

    $150

National Arts Action Summit - Single Session Registration

    $25

National Arts Action Summit Full Package - Practicing Artist Registration* (See Below for Eligibility Details/Instructions)

    $100

National Arts Action Summit Full Package - Student Registration* (See Below for Eligibility Details/Instructions)

    $100

Practicing Artists & Students:

We are pleased to offer a discount to both practicing artists in any artistic discipline and enrolled students. To access the discount code granting $50 off the National Arts Action Summit package, those who qualify need to submit a request to events@artsusa.org.


HOW TO REGISTER: 

To register for the full Summit, please click the red REGISTER button on the upper right-hand side of this page and then press COMPLETE REGISTRATION NOW. From there, you will be directed to your cart. You must have an account with Americans for the Arts to register. If you have an account, click the LOG IN button, enter your username and password, and continue to check out. If you do not have an account, click the CREATE AN ACCOUNT button. You will then be directed to the Americans for the Arts website to create your account. Once you have created your account, you must return to your cart on ArtsU to complete your registration for the event.  

By registering for this package, you agree to all of the Policies & Procedures and Code of Conduct for the 2021 National Arts Action Summit. 


HOW TO ACCESS Live & ON-DEMAND CONTENT: 
  • Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing.  
  • Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button. 
  • Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session. Click on the box. 
  • Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window. 

Should you need any assistance accessing the live event or session recordings, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


  • 2021 Legislative and Political Update | Mainstage Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    The opening session of 2021 National Arts Action Summit will welcome attendees to the series of Summit webinars and provide a key federal, legislative, and political updates -- Introducing the key players on arts policy on Capitol Hill and how to best make the urgent case for support of the arts and culture sector. Presenters will also review the 2021 Congressional Arts Handbook and explain how to use it for advocacy efforts this year.

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    About This Session

    The opening session of 2021 National Arts Action Summit will welcome attendees to the series of Summit webinars and provide a key federal, legislative, and political updates -- Introducing the key players on arts policy on Capitol Hill and how to best make the urgent case for support of the arts and culture sector. Presenters will also review the 2021 Congressional Arts Handbook and explain how to use it for advocacy efforts this year.

    Speakers 

    Nolen Bivens, Americans for the Arts
    David Reid, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
    Narric Rome, Americans for the Arts
    Peter Gordon, Americans for the Arts
    Lauren Cohen, Americans for the Arts
    Annette Bening, Actress

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Annette Bening

    Annette Bening is a Tony Award and four-time Academy Award nominee, and two-time Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award winner. Most recently, she appeared in Scott Z. Burns’ THE REPORT, opposite Adam Driver, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Upcoming projects include William Nicholson’s HOPE GAP opposite Bill Nighy, and DEATH ON THE NILE, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. 

    Additional film credits include GEORGETOWN, LIFE ITSELF, THE SEAGULL, CAPTAIN MARVEL, FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, RULES DON’T APPLY, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, BEING JULIA, AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, LOVE AFFAIR, BUGSY, REGARDING HENRY, and THE GRIFTERS, etc.

    On stage, Bening was last seen in Gregory Mosher’s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s classic ALL MY SONS alongside Tracy Letts, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. Previous stage credits include HAVE A NICE DAY, KING LEAR, RUTH DRAPER MONOLOGUES, THE CHERRY ORCHARD, TALKING HEADS, HEDDA GABLER, and MEDEA. Bening also received a Tony Award nomination and won the Clarence Derwent Award for Outstanding Debut Performance of the Season for her role in COASTAL DISTURBANCES. 

    Nolen Bivens

    Interim President and CEO

    Americans for the Arts

    Nolen Bivens, Interim Presidentand CEO of Americans for the Arts is a former U.S. Army General and serves asChair National Leadership Advisory Council, the National Initiative for Arts& Health in the Military (NIAHM); Military community advisor for NationalEndowment of the Arts Military Healing Art's Creative Forces program, andsenior Policy Fellow on Arts & Military, and Board Member Emeritus,Americans for The Arts, .

    Nolen is President of Leader Six, Inc. and has executiveleadership experience delivering successful results for public, private sector,and non-profit organizations with $1B (+) in annual revenue, includingstrategic business development and sales at the VP level for a Top Four defensecorporation. A U.S. Army Brigadier General (ret), he’s held leadership andstaff positions fromcompany through Army and Joint Pentagon Staff and U.S. Combatant and SpecialOperations Command levels. He has testified before the House appropriationsSubcommittee of the Interior, and co-chairsthe National Leadership Advisory Committee for the National Initiative for Artsand Health in the Military. He’s been guest speaker for national non-profitconferences, the Aspen Seminar for Leadership in the Arts; and, is acontributing author for The Smithsonian Institution, Huffington Post andart’s social media. 

    He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from South Carolina StateUniversity, an M.S. in Management from the Naval Post Graduate School, and M.S.in National Security and Strategic Studies from the National DefenseUniversity.

    Lauren Cohen

    Government Affairs and Grassroots Manager

    Americans for the Arts

    At Americans for the Arts, Lauren works with the Federal Affairs team in federal lobbying and government affairs activities, including composing position statements, monitoring federal legislation, drafting legislative proposals, coalition building with the Congressional Arts Caucus and other Congressional staff.  She enjoys teaching others how to become compelling arts advocates and how to pursue strong arts policy.  Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Lauren worked for a member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives for over two years where she managed the arts, humanities, and museums portfolio.  Before coming to Washington, DC, Lauren worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia.  There, she held positions in the Education Outreach, Historical Interpretations, and Curatorial departments.  Lauren earned her Master of Arts degree in Public History from James Madison University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Tennessee.  Lauren's passion for the arts began at age three when she first started ballet lessons and continues to this day as she enjoys dance and theater performances, museums, and art shows.

    Peter Gordon

    Director of Federal Affairs

    Americans for the Arts

    Peter joined Americans for the Arts in January 2019. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Peter served as the Associate Director of Government Relations for the Council on Foundations, where he focused on tax policy and advocated on behalf of foundations on Capitol Hill. Before joining the Council, he was a Government Relations Specialist for the National Association of College Stores in Washington, DC. Previously, Peter worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate, as a Staff Assistant for former Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL), and the House, as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA).

    Peter grew up in Massachusetts and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a BA in History and Political Science from Williams College. During college, he worked at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, where he developed a deep appreciation for the arts. Peter loves to visit museums and attend theater performances. He lives in DC with his wife, Corey, their daughter, Alex, and their son, Taylor.

    David Reid

    Senior Policy Advisor, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

    David Reid brings a wealth of on-the-ground policy and finance experience to his government relations work with Brownstein. He combines his experience in both business and politics on building, funding and setting the strategic direction for advocacy campaigns and political action committees. A seasoned campaign veteran, David joins the firm from Hillary for America where he was the Washington, D.C., and PAC finance director. His efforts raised a record-breaking $30 million from the D.C. and PAC community during the last election. Before joining Hillary for America, David was the Mid-Atlantic finance director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, ran the political finance operation of a Fortune 100 global healthcare company and served as the deputy finance director of the Democratic Governors Association. David advocates on behalf of a wide range of clients, representing arts and public health funding coalitions, health care organizations and hospitality and telecom companies. He also remains active and engaged with the Democratic Party and campaign committees. Over the course of his career, David has amassed an in-depth network of industry contacts both on Capitol Hill and within the business and association communities. He also serves on the firm's Pro Bono Committee.

    Narric Rome

    Vice President of Government Affairs and Arts Education

    Americans for the Arts

    Narric Rome serves as Vice President for Government Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts.  In his role he manages federal, state, and local government advocacy, grassroots campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with cultural, civic, and private sector organizations with the goal of influencing public policies that advance direct and indirect support for the arts and arts education.

    Narric is responsible for promoting the Americans for the Arts’ message to Congress and the Trump Administration. He serves as the senior lobbyist for the Americans for the Arts legislative portfolio where he researches and pursues untapped federal funding opportunities. Additionally, he is editor of a dozen resource guides connecting cultural projects and initiatives to federal funding programs.

    Narric’s responsibilities include leading the policy development for the annual National Arts Action Summit, including Arts Advocacy Day, which involves coordinating over 85 arts organizations as national partners. Narric oversees the Americans for the Arts education program that seeks equitable access to the arts and includes the State Policy Pilot Program, and advocacy programs at the national, state and local levels. Most recently, Narric has launched a national campaign to boost the creative economy by building support for the CREATE Act (S.661, HR1649) in Congress. Narric has 20 years of experience in the public policy and congressional arena.  Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Narric worked on the policy staff of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign in Vermont and served as a legislative aide to Secretary Riley at the U.S. Department of Education where he received the Peer Recognition Award in 1999.  Earlier in his career, Narric worked on Capitol Hill, at the Podesta Group and on several state and national political campaigns. He is the immediate past-president of the Vermont State Society.

  • The Latest in Tax Policy for Artists, Organizations, and Philanthropy | Briefing Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Exploring tax policy for artists, organizations, and philanthropy in the 117th Congress. The discussion in this advocacy briefing session will include how the universal charitable deduction, Legacy IRA Act, Artist-Museum Partnership Act, Performing Artists Tax Deduction, and other potential policies address tax inequities impacting the cultural sector.

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    About This Session

    Exploring tax policy for artists, organizations, and philanthropy in the 117th Congress. The discussion in this advocacy briefing session will include how the universal charitable deduction, Legacy IRA Act, Artist-Museum Partnership Act, Performing Artists Tax Deduction, and other potential policies address tax inequities impacting the cultural sector.

    This session is sponsored by Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA).

    Speakers 

    Peter Gordon, Americans for the Arts
    Sally Schaeffer, Uncorked Advocates
    David Thompson, National Council of Nonprofits
    Brian Flahaven, Council for Advancement and Support of Education
    Sandra Karas, Actors' Equity Association
    Kim Schoenstadt, Kim Schoenstadt Studio/Now Be Here Art
    Maureen Bray, Art Dealers Association of American (ADAA)

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Brian Flahaven

    Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

    Council For Advancement And Support Of Education

    Brian Flahaven is vice president, strategic partnerships. He also directs CASE’s government relations activities and tracks federal and state legislative and regulatory issues of concern to CASE members, as well as overseeing CASE’s public college and university foundation programs.

    Prior to joining CASE, Brian was the manager of government relations and public policy at the Council on Foundations. He also served as the first Public Policy and Philanthropy Fellow at the Council of Michigan Foundations and worked for former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood.

    Brian received his bachelor’s degree in political science, economics and history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. 

    In 2016, Brian earned the designation of Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives. From 2011 to 2016, Brian served as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner representing the southeastern Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington DC.

    Peter Gordon

    Director of Federal Affairs

    Americans for the Arts

    Peter joined Americans for the Arts in January 2019. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Peter served as the Associate Director of Government Relations for the Council on Foundations, where he focused on tax policy and advocated on behalf of foundations on Capitol Hill. Before joining the Council, he was a Government Relations Specialist for the National Association of College Stores in Washington, DC. Previously, Peter worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate, as a Staff Assistant for former Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL), and the House, as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA).

    Peter grew up in Massachusetts and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a BA in History and Political Science from Williams College. During college, he worked at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, where he developed a deep appreciation for the arts. Peter loves to visit museums and attend theater performances. He lives in DC with his wife, Corey, their daughter, Alex, and their son, Taylor.

    Sandra Karas

    Secretary-Treasurer

    Actors' Equity Association

    Sandra Karas is a working actor and Secretary-Treasurer of Actors’ Equity Association and a member of SAG-AFTRA, both performing arts unions. She is also an attorney in private practice in the areas of Taxation, Financial Planning, Estates, Trusts, Contracts and Business Law.  She is a frequent lecturer on tax, finances, estates and long-term planning, trusts and advanced directives to the entertainment industry and as well as to the legal and accounting communities. Among other union leadership roles, she chairs Equity’s House Affairs Budget Committee and SAG-AFTRA’s local Reinstatement Obligations Review Committee.  She has authored articles on taxation for Equity News and other publications for more than 35 years. Ms. Karas spearheaded an effort to lobby for legislative reform in the Internal Revenue Code that resulted in the 1986 Tax Reform Act’s creation of the Qualified Performing Artist provision to allow for dollar-for-dollar deductions for low- to middle-income performers.  This remains the Code’s first and only provision of its kind to address the needs of our industry and has benefitted thousands of employees who work in theatre, film, television, radio, streaming, webcasts, music, and video gaming work.  Ms. Karas also currently serves as Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and has been a pro bono preparer and instructor for more than 35 years.  Ms. Karas has a BFA from Ithaca College, a MA from Schiller International University in Berlin, a MFA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Syracuse University.  She holds licenses in the areas of tax accounting, securities and investments, and the law, and is admitted to practice in all New York State courts, Federal District Court, United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court.

    Sally Schaeffer

    Consultant

    UNCORKED ADVOCATES

    Bringing nearly two decades of experience, Sally Schaeffer is founder and owner of Uncorked Advocates, a federal government relations firm, which she started after the 2016 Presidential election. Among her current clients are some of the largest nonprofits in the country, including American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, and YWCA USA.

    She specializes in nonprofit tax, appropriations, and women and children’s issues, particularly gender-based violence. Previous to starting her own firm, Sally represented more than 500 nonprofits and foundations as the Government Relations Director at Independent Sector. She also served as the Washington advocate for Girls Scouts of the USA. Sally started her career on Capitol Hill working for former Rep. Louise Slaughter as her Legislative Director and then Chief of Staff.

    Ms. Schaeffer holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Fel’s School of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Sally is also the immediate past President of the nonpartisan Women’s Congressional Golf Association.

    Kim Schoenstadt

    Artist and Organizer of Now Be Here Art

    Kim Schoenstadt Studio / Now Be Here Art

    Kim Schoenstadt is a Los Angeles based artist. She is known for projects such as “Now Be Here” which gathered nearly 1,000 women-identifying and non-binary artists for a photograph. The photograph visually showed the world artists that are not always included in exhibitions and collections. In 2020 Now Be Here transitioned into a nonprofit that hosts a visual directory of national and International women-identifying and non-binary artists work and developes opportunities to promote their work to wider audiences. She is also known for large scale wall drawings which weave architecture and sculptural shapes together to make a memory map. Kim’s work will also be featured at the Fairview Heights Metro station on the Crenshaw/LAX line in Los Angeles which is set to open later this year.  Born in Chicago with a B.A. from Pitzer College, CA, her selected exhibitions include: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL; Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Prague Biennale; Poland Biennale, Lodz, PL; The Getty Center, Los Angeles; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. 

    Instagram: @kimschoenstadt , @nowbehereart

    David Thompson

    Vice President of Public Policy

    National Council of Nonprofits

    David L. Thompson is Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations. The organization is active at the local, state, and federal levels advancing nonprofit policy priorities in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Through its member state associations and nonprofit allies, the Council of Nonprofits amplifies the voices of America’s local community-based nonprofit organizations, helping them engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions, and achieve greater impact in their communities.

    Thompson has served in all three sectors over the course of his career. He practiced law for 17 years specializing in labor relations, employment law, government contracting, and subsequently directed federal and state advocacy for a government relations firm. He served in the public sector from 2001 to 2007 as a Senior Counsel and as Policy Director to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, notably as Counsel to the Pension Protection Act conference committee. Those experiences have served him well in guiding advocacy efforts for the network of the National Council of Nonprofits. He was honored as one of the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 for 2019 and 2020.

    David Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a law degree from the University of Georgia Law School.

  • Protecting the Arts in Higher Education | Briefing Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    In this session, advocates will learn how specific legislative changes will strengthen access and affordability of higher education in the arts. Our main advocacy ask is to urge Congress to strengthen access to higher education in the arts and ensure financial aid options, especially for students from historically and intentionally marginalized communities.

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    About This Session

    In this session, advocates will learn how specific legislative changes will strengthen access and affordability of higher education in the arts. Our main advocacy ask is to urge Congress to strengthen access to higher education in the arts and ensure financial aid options, especially for students from historically and intentionally marginalized communities.

    This session is sponsored by Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD).

    Speakers 

    Deborah Obalil, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICAD)
    Emmanual Guillory, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICAD)
    Samuel Hoi, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
    Lee Ann Scotto Adams, Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE)

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Emmanual Guillory

    Director of Student and Institutional Aid Policy

    National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

    Emmanual currently serves as the Director of Student and Institutional Aid Policy at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. In this role, he serves as the lead policy expert on Title IV federal student assistance programs and institutional aid programs found in Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act (HEA). He is responsible for developing NAICU’s policy positions on student and institutional aid, in conjunction with the association’s member college, university, and association presidents. Guillory also represents those policy positions on the behalf of NAICU to the United States Congress, the White House, the Department of Education, and other agencies as warranted.

    Previously, Emmanual served as the Director for Public Policy and Government Affairs at UNCF (United Negro College Fund, Inc). In this role, he advocated on the behalf of low income, first generation college students and the needs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the United States Congress, Federal Agencies, and the White House. In addition to advocacy, Emmanual determined all policy stances for UNCF and formulated policy on behalf of the organization.

    In addition, Emmanual served a decade in the United States House of Representatives as a Professional Staff Member on the Committee on Education and the Workforce handling higher education policy and as a Senior Policy Advisor to former Congressman Joe Barton from Texas. While on the Committee, Emmanual was responsible for borrower defense regulations; gainful employment regulations; cash management regulations; proprietary institutions; institutional aid for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions; International Education; Graduate Education; and college access programs to include TRIO and GEARUP. In Congressman Joe Barton’s office, Emmanual served as the lead staffer for the Congressman on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and as the lead staffer for the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus and the then-House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.

    Emmanual is from Lufkin, TX and received a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and a certification in leadership studies from Texas A&M University. Emmanual also received a Master of Arts degree in College Student Personnel (Higher Education Administration) from Bowling Green State University.

    Twitter: @_eguillory

    Samuel Hoi

    President

    Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

    Samuel Hoi is the president of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He is an experienced and innovative higher education leader, and an advocate for art and design education and creative professionals as drivers in social, economic, and cultural advancement.

    At MICA, he has ushered in its creative entrepreneurship efforts, steered its mission and vision re-articulation and college-wide DEIG (diversity, equity, inclusion, and globalization) initiative. As president of Otis College of Art and Design for 14 years from 2000-2014, he shepherded the Creative Action curriculum that places art and design education in real life and community context. He also launched the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, which was expanded statewide in California. While serving as dean of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., he created a visual arts program serving inner-city youth that received a Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities. 

    Born and raised in Hong Kong, Hoi received his BA from Columbia College in New York City, his JD from Columbia Law School, and his AAS degree in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. Hoi is a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Otis College of Art and Design; decoration by the French government as an Officer of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques; and the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship that recognizes U.S. artists and cultural leaders at the forefront of social change.

    Deborah Obalil

    President & Executive Director

    Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD)

    Deborah Obalil has over twenty years experience as a leader in the national arts and culture industry, having led multiple highly-acclaimed organizations and served as a well-regarded management consultant to the field. She was appointed the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) in June 2012, and then President in fall 2015. As President & Executive Director she leads the organization in achieving its mission of strengthening and connecting its members schools, thus advancing arts and design education.

     Under her leadership, AICAD has invested significantly in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the organization and across its membership. During her tenure, AICAD has launched the Post Graduate Teaching Fellowship, which offers professional development to graduating BIPOC students in the association in pursuit of careers teaching in higher education, and the BIPOC Academic Leadership Institute. It has hosted multiple symposia on diversity in the academy and inclusive pedagogy

     Prior to her appointment with AICAD, Deborah operated a successful boutique arts management consulting firm, Obalil & Associates, for four years. The firm provided consultation and facilitation in strategic planning, marketing research and planning, and board development for non-profit arts organizations, independent artists of all disciplines, and creative for-profit ventures.

     Deborah previously served as Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities, an organization dedicated to the advancement of America’s creative vitality through supporting the field of artists’ communities. During her six-year tenure as Executive Director, the Alliance’s membership grew by more than 20%, the annual budget tripled, and new relationships developed with the Ford Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation and the Joyce Foundation directed more than $2 million of re-granting funds through the Alliance, many focused on diversifying the artists with access to residencies. She also served on the board of directors of Res Artis, the international association for artist residency programs.

     Deborah is an experienced keynote speaker, presenter and workshop trainer. She is the Board Chair of College Visions, a college access and success organization supporting first generation, low-income students of color in Rhode Island. She serves on the Virtual Professional Development Committee of the Association of Collaborative Leadership, and is a consultant in the CatalystED group serving the Intermediaries for Scale initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aiming to eliminate race and class as predictors of college success.

    Twitter - @obalilassoc @aicartdesign 

    Instagram - @aicartanddesign

    Lee Ann Scotto Adams

    Executive Director

    Association of Arts Administration Educators

    Lee Ann Scotto Adams is the Executive Director of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), an international membership organization representing 175 graduate and undergraduate arts administration programs. She has over fifteen years of experience working in nonprofit management and higher education in the arts. Adams holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (Illus. 03) and an M.S in Nonprofit Management with a focus in Organizational Communications from Northeastern University.

    Prior to joining AAAE, Adams served as Assistant Director/Programs & Operations at the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) – a membership organization of the 42 leading colleges of art and design.

    She has also worked as an Admissions Officer at RISD, as an Administrator in the Fine American Paintings Department at Christie’s Auction House in NYC, and as Assistant to the Director at the National Museum of American Illustration in Newport, RI. She served as Treasurer of the Rhode Island Art Education Association (RIAEA) Board, and continues to work privately counseling students with the art school admissions process. Adams also maintains a creative practice as a fine arts painter, and she believes deeply in the value of an arts education. 

    www.artsadministration.org
    www.leeannscottoadams.com
    www.linkedin.com/in/leeannscot...
    IG: @leeannscottoadams

  • National Arts Action Summit Networking Kick Off

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Join this kick-off event for some stimulating arts engagement while you network with arts advocates from across the country. We’ll feature interest-themed breakout rooms for you to mix and mingle with your fellow advocates, as well as an artist sketching live caricature portraits!

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    About This Networking Event

    Join this kick-off event for some stimulating arts engagement while you network with arts advocates from across the country. We’ll feature interest-themed breakout rooms for you to mix and mingle with your fellow advocates, as well as an artist sketching live caricature portraits!

    How to Access Live Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the session, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page" or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.

    This event is a part of the 2021 National Arts Action Summit
    You must register either for the full summit or an individual session to access this networking event.

  • Strengthening the National Endowment for the Arts | Briefing Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Reviewing the grantmaking and initiatives of the NEA, we will examine the bipartisan support for the agency, and learn about the consensus policy asks to strengthen this key federal agency. Session discussion will include perspectives on the NEA’s focus on access, its reach into every congressional district and providing resources to communities in need, including high-poverty neighborhoods and historically underserved populations such as people with disabilities and veterans.

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    About This Session

    Reviewing the grantmaking and initiatives of the NEA, we will examine the bipartisan support for the agency, and learn about the consensus policy asks to strengthen this key federal agency. Session discussion will include perspectives on the NEA’s focus on access, its reach into every congressional district and providing resources to communities in need, including high-poverty neighborhoods and historically underserved populations such as people with disabilities and veterans.


    This session is sponsored by the Actors' Equity Association.

    Speakers 

    Margaret Keough, Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA)
    Michael Faison, Idaho Commission on the Arts
    Andy Vick, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
    Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), U.S. House of Representatives
    Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), U.S. House of Representatives

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Michael Faison

    Executive Director

    Idaho Commission on the Arts

    Michael Faison is the executive director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Faison previously served as the director of the Arts in Education Division of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the assistant director of the Oregon Arts Commission, and the executive director of the Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as an information technology consultant for Pittsburgh’s Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and was a high school art teacher in the Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas.

    Faison is a member of the boards of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Association, and the Boise Sunrise Rotary Club. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University, and multiple Texas teaching certifications.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mi...

    Margaret Keough

    Director of Marketing and Communications

    Mid America Arts Alliance

    Margaret A. Keough joined Mid-America Arts Alliance, a regional arts organization—serving Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas and beyond—in 2014 as its director of marketing and communications. She has more than twenty years of museum experience at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, both in Kansas City, MO. She earned an MBA from Rockhurst University and holds undergraduate degrees in art history and in advertising from the University of Kansas. Keough has presented on marketing, communications, and related topics at the annual meetings of the American Alliance of Museums, National Arts Marketing Project, Oklahoma Arts Council, and Arkansas Arts Council, among others. She was also selected for the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leaders: Next Generation program.

    FB: @kcmaaa

    Twitter: @kcmaaa

    Instagram: @MidAmericaArtsAlliance

    Andy Vick

    Executive Director

    Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region

    Andy Vick is an experienced leader and arts administrator who believes in the power of the creative sector to drive economic development, build community, grow tourism, and enhance quality of life for everyone. As the Executive Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Andy oversees the daily operation and financial management of the nonprofit, local arts agency that serves the City of Colorado Springs and the surrounding two-county region. In conjunction with his work at the Cultural Office, Andy has been appointed by the Governor of Colorado to serve as a Council member for Colorado Creative Industries (the State Arts Agency), and as a Board member for the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority. At the national level, he serves on the United States Urban Arts Federation (an advisory council for Americans for the Arts, composed of arts leaders from the 60 largest US cities). Locally, Andy is an ex-officio Board member of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC, and is a member of the Regional Leadership Forum and the Downtown Colorado Springs Rotary Club. In addition, Andy is a graduate of the 2016 Colorado Springs Leadership Institute program, the 2015 Leadership Pikes Peak Signature program, and the 2015 Colorado Creative Industries Change Leaders program. Andy is also an experienced public speaker on the topic of leveraging the arts as a tool for economic development and community vitality.

    www.CulturalOffice.org

  • Expanding Arts and Technology | Briefing Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Attendees will learn the nuances of how the arts and tech policy intersect and how to effectively urge Congress to support key policy areas: music licensing, Net Neutrality and wireless microphones. Congress plays a key role in music licensing, and how platforms compensate—or don’t compensate—music makers. Net Neutrality would help ensure equity and access to customers and culture. The FCC needs to protect wireless microphones and other devices used by performing arts entities that provide valuable public service.

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    About This Session

    Attendees will learn the nuances of how the arts and tech policy intersect and how to effectively urge Congress to support key policy areas: music licensing, Net Neutrality and wireless microphones. Congress plays a key role in music licensing, and how platforms compensate—or don’t compensate—music makers. Net Neutrality would help ensure equity and access to customers and culture. The FCC needs to protect wireless microphones and other devices used by performing arts entities that provide valuable public service.

    Speakers 

    Michael Lewan, The Recording Academy
    Kevin Erickson, Future of Music Coalition
    Mitch Glazier, RIAA


    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Kevin Erickson

    Director

    Future of Music Coalition

    As FMC's director, Kevin Erickson works at the intersection of DIY music, community organizing, and federal policy. His experience spans many parts of the music industry, from community radio to venue booking and show promotion to brick & mortar music retail management. Before joining FMC's team in 2012, he directed All-ages Movement Project, a national non-profit network of all-ages music venues and youth music programs. He has contributed opinion pieces to outlets as disparate as The Nation and Pitchfork, and remains active as a musician and record producer, operating Swim-Two-Birds recording studio in Silver Spring MD.

    Twitter: @future_of_music

    Mitch Glazier

    Chairman and CEO

    RIAA

    Mitch Glazier is Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  He serves as Chairman of the Board of RIAA, Chairman of the Board of Musicians on Call, the charity that brings the healing power of music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals and health care facilities around the country, and serves on the Boards of IFPI, Leadership Music, SoundExchange and the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Silver Spring, Maryland. For more than 20 years, Glazier has been at the forefront of building the new music ecosystem. He helped build the unprecedented coalition that mobilized to enact the Music Modernization Act (MMA). As the senior House Judiciary Committee intellectual property counsel, he helped draft and pass pioneering legislation that paved the way for the streaming economy, including the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act to assure that music creators are compensated for use of their music by digital partners.

    @RIAA

    Michael Lewan

    Director of Government Relations

    The Recording Academy

    Michael Lewan is the Director of Government Relations for the Recording Academy representing the Academy, its members, and the greater music creator community in Washington, D.C. Over his tenure at the Academy, Lewan has spearheaded events such as GRAMMYs on the Hill and District Advocate Day, served on the Board of Directors for the Copyright Alliance, and helped pass historic legislation like the Music Modernization Act, the CASE Act, and the CARES Act. 

    Lewan previously served as Senior Manager of Government Relations for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and has worked for an energy association and within the federal government. Lewan has two Master’s Degrees from Syracuse University, and is a proud graduate of the University of Miami.

  • COVID-19 Relief and Recovery | Mainstage Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Take a deep dive into the COVID-19 relief packages passed by Congress and with special focus on increased access for all in the arts and culture sector. We will review how organizations, artists, and small businesses in the creative economy are accessing resources and pursuing additional relief legislation that Congress is considering.

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    About This Session

    Take a deep dive into the COVID-19 relief packages passed by Congress and with special focus on increased access for all in the arts and culture sector. We will review how organizations, artists, and small businesses in the creative economy are accessing resources and pursuing additional relief legislation that Congress is considering.

    Speakers 

    Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Americans for the Arts
    Brian Stokes Mitchell, The Actors Fund and Black Theatre United
    GP McLeer, South Carolina Arts Alliance
    Carson Elrod, Be An #ArtsHero
    Michael Wasser, Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
    Erik Takeshita, Takeshita Group
    Rep. Debbie Dingell,  U.S. House of Representatives

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Carson Elrod

    Co-Founder/Co-Leader

    Be An #ArtsHero

    Carson Elrod is an actor, teacher, activist, and organizer. Carson received his undergraduate degrees in U.S. History and Theatre from the University of Kansas and his Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Mr. Elrod is a founder of #FairWageOnStage, which secured record salary increases for Actors and Stage Managers in 2016. In the summer of 2020, he co-founded Be An #ArtsHero, an intersectional nation-wide grassroots campaign to organize the country’s 5.1 million Arts Workers in order to secure the relief and recovery legislation required to stabilize the nation’s devastated Creative Economy. Professional Acting Credits Include: Broadway: Peter and The Starcatcher, Reckless, and Noises Off. The Metropolitan Opera: The Merry Widow. Off Broadway: The Tempest, Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well (New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park), The Liar, The Heir Apparent (Classic Stage Company). Important Hats of the 20th Century, The Explorer’s Club, Based On A Totally True Story, House, Garden, Comic Potential (Manhattan Theatre Club), Lives of The Saints, All in the Timing (Primary Stages), Peter And The Starcatcher, Cavedweller (New York Theatre Workshop). Regional Credits Include: Williamstown Theatre

    Festival, Yale Rep, Baltimore Center Stage, Shakespeare Theatre DC, Westport Country Playhouse, Denver Center, Shakespeare & Company, Barrington Stage, Tanglewood, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Two River Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, and more. Television: The Good Fight, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Medium, 30 Rock, and more. Film: Wedding Crashers, Kissing Jessica Stein, The Weekend, When A Stranger Calls, and more.

    @BeAnArtsHero for Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok

    Nina Ozlu Tunceli

    Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs, Americans for the Arts

    Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund

    Nina Ozlu Tunceli is both Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts as well as the Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. Since 1993, Nina has served as the chief policy strategist for Americans for the Arts’ federal, state, and local public affairs work, grassroots advocacy campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with cultural and civic organizations to advance the arts in America. In 2004, she also became the executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, a separate 501(c)(4) organization with a connected Political Action Committee—the only dedicated arts PAC in the country. Nina now mobilizes the political and legislative efforts of more than 420,000+ citizen activists in advancing arts policy issues to legislators and candidates seeking federal public office. She is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Richmond School of Law.

    George Patrick McLeer

    Executive Director

    South Carolina Arts Alliance

    George Patrick [GP] McLeer, Jr is the Mayor of Fountain Inn, SC and the Executive Director of the SC Arts Alliance. 

    Born and raised in South Carolina, GP was elected Mayor of Fountain Inn, one of the fastest growing cities in South Carolina, at age 31, making him the youngest mayor in the city’s history. 

    As Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide arts advocacy organization, GP works at the local, state, and federal level to advance the creative industry through public policy, leadership development, and public awareness. 

    Previously, GP created and led the Office of Cultural Affairs for the City of Mauldin, SC. He developed the Mauldin Cultural Center, the Mauldin Public Art Trail, managed all city-wide marketing, and advised on all economic development projects.

    GP is a member of his local Rotary Club, and serves on numerous board and committees, including:

    In 2021, GP also founded Pecan Public Relations, a boutique PR firm focusing on nonprofit advocacy, communications, and governance.

    GP and his wife, Taylor, a drama teacher, have one daughter, Albee James.

    GP holds a BA in Arts Management from the College of Charleston, where he has been recognized with the university’s 250th Anniversary Young Alumnus Award in 2020, the 2016 School of the Arts Young Alumnus Award, the Julie Jett Arts Management Citizenship Award, and placed in the School of the Arts Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the first-ever Alumni Heart Award by his high school alma mater, St. Joseph’s Catholic School, for his contribution to the arts community.

    scartsalliance.net

    gpmcleer.com

    Brian Stokes Mitchell

    Tony Award-Winning Actor, Singer, and Music Producer, as well as Board Chair of The Actors Fund, Co-Founder of Black Theatre United, Member of both the Board of Directors and the Artists Committee of Americans for the Arts

    The Actors Fund and Black Theatre United

    Dubbed “the last leading man” by The New York Times, Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film, and concert appearances with the country’s finest conductors and orchestras. He received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate. He also gave Tony-nominated performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and Ragtime. Other notable Broadway shows include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly’s Last Jam, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and most recently in Shuffle Along. Off Broadway includes Do Re Mi, Carnival, Kismet and The Bandwagon at City Center Encores and Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park. Regional includes Sweeney Todd at the Sondheim Celebration at The Kennedy Center.

    Film and Television
    His extensive screen credits began with a guest starring role on Roots: The Next Generations which lead to a 7-year stint on Trapper John, MD. His 40-year long TV/Film run continued with memorable appearances on everything from PBS’ Great Performances to Frasier, The Prince of Egypt (singing “Through Heaven’s Eyes”), Glee, Jumping the Broom, Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, Bull, Elementary and Prodigal Son. Recurring roles on numerous series of late include Mr. Robot, The Path and this season on Evil. His second performance at the White House, “A celebration of American Creativity”, was aired on PBS as was his appearance on “A Celebration of America’s Resiliency” from Mt. Vernon earlier this year.

    Stokes has appeared on more than 20 albums that encompass Broadway Shows, Jazz and Standards including his 3 self-produced solo albums. Stokes has received a number of awards for both his charitable and artistic work including the New Dramatist’s Distinguished Achievement Award, the Actors Fund Julie Harris Award, Canada’s Dora Mavor Moore Award (The Canadian “Tony”), the Americans for the Arts Outstanding Contribution to the Arts Award, The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, Chicago’s Sarah Siddons Award, and the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League. In November of 2016 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. 

    Stokes is a great proponent of arts education and speaks passionately about the importance of art in all of our lives. He is a board member of Americans For The Arts (AmericansForTheArts.org), and is also a member of Lincoln Center’s Artist committee. In June of 2020, he became a founding member of Black Theatre United (BlackTheatreUnited.com) to help protect Black people, Black talent and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. He has enjoyed working with numerous other charitable organizations from the March of Dimes to the USO. Stokes has been the Chairman of the Board of the Actors Fund (ActorsFund.org) for the last 16 years and in 2016 received the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for his work with that organization. He is a tireless advocate for both artists and the importance of the Arts in a healthy society. 

    Instagram: @brianstokesm 

    Twitter: @bstokesmitchell

    Erik Takeshita

    Principal

    Takeshita Group

    Erik Takeshita is passionate about the power of art and culture to help build healthier, more equitable and sustainable communities. He is currently the Principal of The Takeshita Group and previous served as a Senior Fellow at ArtPlace America, Portfolio Director for Community Creativity at the Bush Foundation and Director of Creative Placemaking at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Erik trained as a ceramic artist and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and daughters.

    @etakeshita

    Michael Wasser

    Assistant to the President/Legislative Director

    Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO

    Michael is the assistant to the president/legislative director for the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), a coalition of 24 national union representing over four million professional, technical, and other highly-skilled workers. At DPE, Michael is responsible for conducting outreach to labor and non-labor organizations, representing DPE before Congress on issues important to professionals, and working with affiliate unions to identify and advance issues important to professionals.

    Prior to joining DPE, Michael worked for six years at Jobs With Justice (and, previous to its merger, American Rights at Work), serving most recently as senior policy analyst. Michael produced original research and led the organization’s federal policy strategy, monitoring developments related to the workplace and serving as the primary liaison to congressional offices and federal agencies.

    Michael has been quoted in or written for a number of media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Hill, Huffington Post, and NPR. He also has been published in the Nevada Law Journal.

    Michael is a graduate of the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University, with a bachelor’s degree in labor studies and employment relations and a master’s degree in human resources and employment relations.  Michael is an adjunct professor of labor and employment relations at Penn State.


    @DPEaflcio

  • Advancing Arts and Health Policy | Briefing Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    During this session, advocates will gain an understanding about funding for creative and expressive arts therapies research, as well as the increase of access to arts-based programming for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, telehealth access, mental health services, and strengthening Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions for artists and other creative occupations. During our discussion, we will also review creative and expressive arts therapies and arts-based programming provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    About This Session

    During this session, advocates will gain an understanding about funding for creative and expressive arts therapies research, as well as the increase of access to arts-based programming for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, telehealth access, mental health services, and strengthening Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions for artists and other creative occupations. During our discussion, we will also review creative and expressive arts therapies and arts-based programming provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Speakers 

    Judy Simpson, American Music Therapy Association
    Randy Oostra, ProMedica
    Marete Wester, Americans for the Arts
    Joe Benincasa, The Actors Fund

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Joseph Benincasa

    President & CEO

    The Actors Fund

    JOSEPH P. BENINCASA is the President and CEO of The Actors Fund, the national human services organization that helps everyone in entertainment and the performing arts; he joined The Fund in 1989.

    Mr. Benincasa oversees innovative programs including comprehensive social services, health care services, employment and training, and affordable, supportive and senior housing. The Actors Fund’s headquarters are in New York City with regional offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, a nursing home in Englewood, NJ, and supportive housing residences in Manhattan, NY, West Hollywood, CA, and Brooklyn, NY. He is also President of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation which is building affordable, supportive and senior care residences for artists in major urban centers.

    He serves on the boards of directors of several organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Career Transition for Dancers, Learning Ally, the Human Services Council, National Executive Service Corps, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Theatre Communications Group, Times Square Alliance, the YMCA of New York City and the Somerset Patriots, a minor league baseball team. He has been recognized with several honors, including The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, Tony Honors Award, New Jersey Legislature Excellence in Arts Award and inaugural Made in New York Award presented by Michael Bloomberg. He has served as chair of the New York Society of Association Executives,  Secretary/Treasurer of the MusiCares Foundation and has lectured on not-for-profit management at Duke University, and served on the Tony Administration and Nominating Committees, and on the Board of Directors of St. Peter's University Medical Center and Bio-Reference Laboratories.  He is a member of The Lambs and Friars' Clubs. In 2011, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Centenary College and served on the New York State Attorney General’s Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization.

    Mr. Benincasa graduated from St. Joseph's University, earned a Masters from Rutgers University and attended the Graduate Business School at Fordham University. He is incredibly proud of how The Actors Fund helps everyone in the Creative Community.

    Randy Oostra

    CEO & President

    ProMedica

    Randy Oostra, DM, FACHE (63), is the President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMedica, a not-for-profit mission-based, integrated health and well-being organization headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The $7 billion organization serves communities in 28 states. It offers acute and ambulatory care, an insurance company with a dental plan, and post-acute and academic business lines. The organization has more than 56,000 employees, 13 hospitals, 2,600 physicians and advanced practice providers with privileges, 900+ healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians, a health plan, and more than 400 assisted living facilities, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, memory care communities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and hospice and home health care agencies. 

    Randy has 40 years of health care and management expertise, with 22 of those years spent at ProMedica. Randy is regarded as one of the nation’s top leaders in health care and has earned a spot on several prestigious listings, which include Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People for four consecutive years and was recognized in 2020 as the 21st Most Influential person in the healthcare industry; and as Becker’s Hospital Review 100 Great Leaders to Know in Healthcare for 2019. 

    ProMedica has received numerous national recognitions and accolades under Randy’s leadership. The organization is widely known as a national leader in addressing the social determinants of health and is consistently recognized by national associations and accrediting agencies for superior clinical quality, safety, and patience experience. The organization’s flagship Toledo Hospital received a 5-star rating from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is recognized as one of the nation’s 50 best hospitals by Healthgrades. All ProMedica wholly owned, qualifying hospitals have received ratings of 3 stars and above from CMS. Additionally, ProMedica earned a spot on Forbes Magazine’s 2017 list of America’s Best Employers. 

    Randy is a visionary leader who truly believes community and service are hand in hand and exemplifies that both in his professional and personal life. This strong commitment to the healthcare industry and community is demonstrated through his extensive involvement in numerous professional and civic organizations at the local, regional, and national levels. He serves on the board of trustees of the following national organizations: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and chairperson for The Root Cause Coalition, which ProMedica founded. He serves on the board of trustees for the following organizations: Toledo Museum of Art also a member, ConnecToledo Downtown Development Corporation (past chair), Socially Determined, Kumanu, and Toledo Symphony (past chair). Randy is also a member of the Ohio and Michigan Hospital Associations and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

    As recognition for his strong commitment and positive contributions to the community, Randy was honored with the Jefferson Award for Public Service. He also was chosen by the Jefferson Awards Foundation to represent Toledo at the organization's national ceremony in Washington D.C. Additionally, Randy received the Ohio Hospital Association's Donald R. Newkirk Award for making a significant lifetime contribution to the healthcare industry. 

    Randy holds a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in Management from the University of Wisconsin, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northwestern College

    Judy Simpson

    Director of Government Relations

    American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)

    Judy Simpson, a board certified music therapist and the Director of Government Relations for the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), represents the music therapy profession with legislators and agencies on the state and federal level.  Since 2005, Judy has led AMTA’s national state recognition initiative in collaboration with the Certification Board for Music Therapists. She has presented and participated in advocacy trainings and events in 28 states and has contributed to legislative and regulatory language in 40 states. Prior to her work with AMTA, Judy’s 17 years of clinical experience involved developing music therapy programs in hospital settings, including physical rehabilitation, oncology, labor and delivery, psychiatry, ICU, and general medicine.

    www.musictherapy.org

    Marete Wester

    Senior Director, Arts Policy and National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military

    Americans for the Arts

    Marete Wester, M.S. is Senior Director of Arts Policy and Impact at Americans for the Arts (AFTA) where she advances cross-sector policy issues and strategic alliances nationally and internationally. Her portfolio includes arts and military/Veterans issues, international engagement, as well as public health among others. She helped initiate and now directs the National Initiative for Arts and Health Across the Military (NIAHM)—a collaborate effort to advance arts and creativity as tools for health for all service members, Veterans, their families and caregivers. An experienced administrator of cross-sector collaborations, she serves as AFTA’s Project Director for the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, and manages major strategic alliance relationships, including stewarding two Memorandums of Agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She holds a bachelor's of music performance degree from Wilkes University, PA and a master’s of science degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia. 

  • Supporting Our Military and Veterans Through the Arts | Briefing Session

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Advocates will dive deeper into the potential expansion of the use of creative arts therapies (CATs), increased funding through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense for CATs, expressive arts therapy, and arts-based programming. This session will provide talking points to encourage lawmakers to support legislation that improves access to evidence-based complementary and integrative treatments and telehealth.

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    About This Session

    Advocates will dive deeper into the potential expansion of the use of creative arts therapies (CATs), increased funding through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense for CATs, expressive arts therapy, and arts-based programming. This session will provide talking points to encourage lawmakers to support legislation that improves access to evidence-based complementary and integrative treatments and telehealth.

    Speakers 

    Judy Simpson, American Music Therapy Association
    Marete Wester, Americans for the Arts
    Bryan Doerries, Theater of War Productions

    How to Access Live & On-Demand Content
    1. Visit the event agenda page to select your desired session for viewing. 
    2. Select your desired session from the agenda list and click the red VIEW SESSION button.
    3. Once on the desired session page, locate the box on the right-hand side with the title of the session.
    4. Click on the box.
    5. Click the red ENTER LIVE EVENT IN PROGRESS or  VIEW ARCHIVED RECORDING button - The session will automatically start playing in a new browser window.

    Should you need any assistance accessing the recording, please refer to our visual instructions on our "ArtsU Tech Support Page", or send us an email at events@artsusa.org.


    Judy Simpson

    Director of Government Relations

    American Music Therapy Association

    Judy Simpson, a board certified music therapist and the Director of Government Relations for the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), represents the music therapy profession with legislators and agencies on the state and federal level.  Since 2005, Judy has led AMTA’s national state recognition initiative in collaboration with the Certification Board for Music Therapists. She has presented and participated in advocacy trainings and events in 28 states and has contributed to legislative and regulatory language in 40 states. Prior to her work with AMTA, Judy’s 17 years of clinical experience involved developing music therapy programs in hospital settings, including physical rehabilitation, oncology, labor and delivery, psychiatry, ICU, and general medicine.

    www.musictherapy.org

    Marete Wester

    Senior Director, Arts Policy and National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military

    Americans for the Arts

    Marete Wester, M.S. is Senior Director of Arts Policy and Impact at Americans for the Arts (AFTA) where she advances cross-sector policy issues and strategic alliances nationally and internationally. Her portfolio includes arts and military/Veterans issues, international engagement, as well as public health among others. She helped initiate and now directs the National Initiative for Arts and Health Across the Military (NIAHM)—a collaborate effort to advance arts and creativity as tools for health for all service members, Veterans, their families and caregivers. An experienced administrator of cross-sector collaborations, she serves as AFTA’s Project Director for the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, and manages major strategic alliance relationships, including stewarding two Memorandums of Agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She holds a bachelor's of music performance degree from Wilkes University, PA and a master’s of science degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia. 

    Bryan Doerries

    Artistic Director

    Theater of War Productions

    Bryan Doerries is a New York-based writer, director, and translator who currently serves as Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions, a company that presents dramatic readings of seminal plays and texts to frame community conversations about pressing issues of public health and social justice. A self-described evangelist for ancient stories and their relevance to our lives today, Doerries uses age-old approaches to help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss. Doerries’ books include The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today (Knopf), The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan (Pantheon), All That You’ve Seen Here is God (Vintage), and Oedipus Trilogy (forthcoming from Vintage). Among his awards, he has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Kenyon College, and in March 2017, he was named Public Artist in Residence for the City of New York. For more information about his work, please visit: www.theaterofwar.com.

    @theaterofwar

  • Business Leaders Networking Social Hour

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Join us for this networking event to meet pro-arts business leaders. Learn why they think the arts are vital to thriving communities, ask for their advice in how you can connect with your local business leaders, and get to know your fellow advocates.

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    About This Networking Event

    Join us for this networking event to meet pro-arts business leaders. Learn why they think the arts are vital to thriving communities, ask for their advice in how you can connect with your local business leaders, and get to know your fellow advocates.

    Speakers 

    Ken Ferguson, NBC Oklahoma
    Edgar Smith, World Pac Paper, LLC
    Barbara Wight, Taylor Guitars

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    This event is a part of the 2021 National Arts Action Summit
    You must register either for the full summit or an individual session to access this networking event.

    Ken Fergeson

    Chairman

    NBC Oklahoma

    Ken Fergeson is a community banker and Chairman of NBC Oklahoma, a state-chartered bank with seven locations in Altus, Enid, Kingfisher, and Oklahoma City.  He was inducted into the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s 2018 Inaugural Hall of Fame Class and into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2009.  He received the Oklahoma Governor’s 1994 and 2000 Arts Awards and most recently selected as a 2019 Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador and recipient of the 2019 Volunteer Service Award from Paseo Arts Association.

    Fergeson has served as chairman of both the American Bankers Association as well as the Oklahoma Bankers Association.  Over sixteen years ago Ken created the NBC Oklahoma Artist Series, a program that champions Oklahoma artists by commissioning them to create an original piece of art.  Ken then turns the art into prints, posters and postcards for bank customers as gifts.  Ken has also been responsible for large-scale commissions of public art; the Vision Seeker sculpture, by Harold Holden, sits in the Altus City Park and was a gift to the City of Altus as part of a partnership between NBC Oklahoma and the Altus Public School Foundation.

    As a passionate supporter of the arts, Ken is past-chairman of the Mid-America Arts Alliance Board and the national organization, Americans for the Arts.  In addition, he serves on the boards of various arts associations including the Oklahoma Humanities Council, Oklahoma Arts Institute, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahomans for the Arts, the Three Rivers Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, and the Oklahoma State University Postal Plaza Art Museum.

    Ken holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a masters in economics from Texas Tech University.  Ken and his wife Mary Ann live in Altus, Oklahoma.

    Edgar Smith

    CEO

    World Pac Paper, LLC

    He is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of World Pac Paper, LLC. He has created and grown his business to be an award winning and innovative global distribution company in the high-quality printing & packaging papers, packaging and recycling solutions industries. Taking, nearly, twenty-five plus (25+) years of industry experience, with six (6) leading Fortune 500 companies, lastly as Vice President National Sales with Coca Cola North America to become an entrepreneur. He employed and created best practices, which have set the tone for sustainable growth. The company has been recognized by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, one of the nation’s largest Chambers (representing approximately 4,000+ businesses) as the “Small Business of the Year” (2010) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. as a "Blue Ribbon Small Business Award" winner (2011), and is an Inc. 500, BE 100 and IC 100 company.

    Edgar, a Distinguished Eagle Scout, is a graduate of Morehouse College with post graduate - Advanced Management / Executive Education experiences through Leadership Cincinnati, the Regional Leadership Forum (Fellow), Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. As a successful entrepreneur, in June of 2015, he was selected as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® (Regional Award Winner) Lifetime Achievement Honoree. Edgar has been twice named (2011 & 2012) as one of the Tri-State’s most influential leaders, “The Power 100” by Cincy-The Magazine for Business Professionals. In May 2010, he was named the Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Ohio and Region V of the United States, which covers Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In January 2008 he received the Innovative Creative Entrepreneur Award (ICE) – Outstanding Alumnus from the Morehouse College Entrepreneur Center. He and his company are the recipients of numerous, other, business awards and community honors, honoring outstanding performance, economic contributions and leadership excellence. More recent community honors include: The Medical Mutual 2016 Pillar Award for Community Service, which recognizes the critical tie between the for-profit and non-profit communities and the work they do to enhance the community, the Beacon of Light Humanitarian Award from Lighthouse Youth Services, The First Tee: Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Award for Confidence, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Business Award for Community Involvement (2016).

    In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Edgar has served on several corporate boards and he is an avid, and engaged, community leadership volunteer and currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Board of Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) (New York, NY), a division of Americans for the Arts and he is also a Vice Chair and Board Member of Americans for the Arts (Washington, DC). He is a Life Trustee of ArtsWave (he served as Community Campaign Chair in 2011). He is also a Life Associate Trustee of Marietta College (Marietta, OH) and Vice Chair, Board of Trustees of Union Institute & University (Cincinnati, OH). He is also a Board Member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH, and is Chairman Emeritus of the Cincinnati Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). Additionally, he is past Council President & Chairman of the Board-Dan Beard Council, Boy Scouts of America, he served on the Public Media Connect (CET & ThinkTV Network) board (2014-2020). As well as, Procter & Gamble's Supplier Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC)(2017-2020) and on the City of Cincinnati Economic Inclusion Advisory Board (2016-2018). Edgar is a past Chapter Chair of the Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross (2006-2008). He is also a past Vice Chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce and a former board member (2011-2017) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Washington, DC).

    www.worldpacpaperllc.com

    Barbara Wight

    CFO

    Taylor Guitars

    Barbara Wight is the Chief Financial Officer at Taylor Guitars, one of the world's leading manufacturers of premium acoustic and electric guitars. In her role, Ms. Wight retains global responsibility for all financial, information technology and legal interests on behalf of the company, which annually manufactures and distributes over 160,000 guitars in both domestic and international markets. At Taylor, Ms. Wight is instrumental in both operations management and compliance issues related to binational manufacturing, as the company maintains factory complexes in  El Cajon, California and Tecate, Mexico. In addition, the company owns an ebony mill in Yaoundé, Cameroon and a Forestry Company in Hawaii  (both in conjunction with wood suppliers).

    Currently, Ms. Wight serves on Board of Directors for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), the Board of Directors for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and she is a member of the Secretary of Commerce’s District Export Council.  She has recently joined the Business Committee for the Americans for the Arts and loves exploring the cross section for business, infrastructure and the arts.

    Past Board service includes the San Diego County Water Authority, the San Diego Conservation Garden and the World Trade Center San Diego.

    www.linkedin.com/in/bwight