Thursday, December 11, 2014

WASHINGTON – December 11, 2014 - Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, announces new advisory council members for each of their four networks: Arts Education, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector and Public Art. These individuals will advise Americans for the Arts’ staff on developing programs and services that will build a deeper connection to the field and the network membership.

Potential council members were nominated in early October and were voted on by members of Americans for the Arts through November 12, 2014. Incoming advisory council members serve a three-year term, from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017.

“The success of our organization is dependent on leaders in the arts and culture industries, such as those now joining our Advisory Council. I applaud all these leaders who are willing to dedicate their time and expertise to work with peers across our country to shape national programs and messages and help craft services for states, communities and local organizations,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “We are grateful for these members and their dedication to promoting and cultivating arts and arts education nationwide.”

The new advisory council members are:

In the Public Art Network, who will develop annual programming, choose the Public Art Network award recipient, and offer diverse perspectives and voices on public art and public art programs:

·         James (Jim) Hirschfield, artist, Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

·         Robin Franklin Nigh, manager of Art Programs Division, City of Tampa

·         Sarah Conley Odenkirk, Assistant Professor of Art Law and Public Art, Claremont Graduate University/Drucker Graduate School of Management (re-elected)

·         Susan Pontious, Civic Art Collection and Public Art program director, San Francisco Arts Commission (re-elected)

·         Jon Pounds, executive director, Chicago Public Art Group (re-elected)

·         Karen Bubb, public arts manager, Boise City Department of Arts and History (re-elected)

·         Erin Harkey, project manager, Los Angeles County Arts Commission


In the Private Sector Council, who will develop and implement private-sector advocacy programs and serve as leaders to other local arts agencies seeking to connect with the private sector:

·         Laura Bruney, president and CEO, Arts and Business Council (re-elected)

·         Jim Sparrow, president and CEO, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County (re-elected)

·         H. Perry Mixter, associate vice president, Arts and Science Council

·         Mary Eileen Fouratt, executive director, Monmouth Arts

·         Mary Anne Winkelman, president, Cultural Alliance of York County

·         Christen Boone, president and CEO, Fund for the Arts

·         Janet Langsam, CEO, ArtsWestchester (re-elected)

·         Dan Bowers, president, ArtsBuild

·         Deborah Jordy, executive director, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (re-elected)

·         Susan Soroko, director of Creative Economy, Arlington County Cultural Affairs


In the Arts Education Council, who will select the Arts Education Leadership Award recipient, and participate in and support network-specific programs such as Arts in Education Week, Keep the Arts in Public Schools, and more:

·         Eric Delli Bovi, executive director, Urban Gateways

·         Lauren S. Hess, arts integration specialist, Cincinnati Public Schools

·         Myran Parker-Brass, executive director for the Arts, Boston Public Schools

·         Rebecca Cruse, deputy director, South Dakota Arts Council


In the Emerging Leaders Network, who will assist in developing programs and resources to promote professional development and networking opportunities for emerging arts professionals nationwide:

·         Jessica Gaines, project supervisor, City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs

·         Hilary Amnah, community arts coordinator, Utah Division of Arts and Museums

·         Elisheba Johnson, executive and commission liaison, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture

·         Lauren M. Merker, development and communications manager, Taproot Foundation

·         Aileen Alon, Arts and Creative Industry manager, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at