Partnering with Community Foundations to Strengthen Arts Recovery

Recorded On: 06/25/2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020
12:30 p.m. EDT

About this Session

Community foundations help a community thrive in many ways and can be perfect collaborators for arts agencies and organizations, as they all work together to address broader social goals. In this session, explore what a 10-year initiative from the Barr Foundation can tell us about how arts organizations, agencies, and community foundations can work together to catalyze new leadership, energy, and resources in their communities during recovery and reconstruction.

Learning Objectives
  • Explore how community foundations and local arts agencies and arts organizations can partner in supporting community transformation.
  • Hear case studies of specific examples that addressed broader social community issues through the arts.
  • Discuss how such initiatives could be replicated in your own community.


San San Wong, Barr Foundation
Katie Allan Zobel, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
John Vasconcellos, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts 

This session is a part of the 2020 Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference

Katie Allan Zobel

President and CEO, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Katie Allan Zobel has served as President and CEO since 2013 and, for the eight years prior, as Vice President of Philanthropic Services. Katie worked for Amherst College for 11 years serving in a variety of fundraising roles and was director of annual giving for WGBY/Public Television prior to that. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Western Mass EDC, the Coordinating Council for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Plan for Progress, Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Patient Care Excellence Committee, Springfield Business Leaders for Education, and is co‐chair of the Western Massachusetts Funders’ Network. Katie holds a B.A. in English from Boston College and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) designation from the American College.

San San Wong

Director, Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation

San San Wong leads Barr Foundation’s Arts & Creativity Program which seeks to invest in bold ideas and leaders, with an overarching goal to elevate the arts and enable creative expression to engage and inspire a dynamic, thriving Massachusetts. Barr pursues this goal through three strategies: advancing the field’s capacity to adapt and take risks; fostering opportunities to connect the arts to other sectors; and activating public support for the arts. Prior to joining Barr in 2012, San San served as director of grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission, executive director of the National Performance Network, a performing arts producer and presenter, and an international consultant for foundations and non-governmental organizations. San San is a board member of Grantmakers in the Arts.

John Vasconcellos

President, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts

John Vasconcellos is the President of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, an organization which seeks to mobilize philanthropy by matching donors and resources with community needs for the benefit of the 41 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts. Previously, John served as Senior Regional Director for the Southeast and Boston Regions of The Trustees of Reservations. Other experience includes Managing Director of Development and Marketing for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Vice President of Development and Communications at the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Director of Development for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

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Partnering with Community Foundations to Strengthen Arts Recovery
Partnering with Community Foundations to Strengthen Arts Recovery
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