AAAE Welcomes New Executive Director – Milena Deleva

by Lee Ann Adams

The Board of the Association of Arts Administration Educators has selected Milena Deleva as its Executive Director, effective immediately. Milena’s career in arts administration spans over 15 years during which she has served nonprofit organizations across different disciplines through programming, strategic planning, and fundraising. A graduate of Baruch College’s MA in Arts Administration and Sofia University’s MA in Cultural Studies, she has planned and organized annual conferences, special events, interdisciplinary art residencies, award ceremonies, international literary festivals, and creative writing workshops on two different continents, and has written grants and organized fundraising drives to support these projects. Her successful track record includes grant proposals for the NEA, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Lois Roth Endowment, JP Morgan Chase, and the European Union, to mention a few.

Milena also served the Staten Island Arts Council in New York, providing capacity building support to local cultural nonprofits in their practice of arts administration. During her most recent tenure at the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for Creative Writing (EKF), she tripled the organization’s revenue by securing grants, individual giving, and online fundraising campaigns. She spearheaded collaborations with the University of Rochester in the US and the University of East Anglia in the UK, and helped curate the New Literature from Europe Festival in Manhattan, along with 15 EUNIC members from the New York cluster. Under her leadership, EKF’s work has garnered coverage by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishing Perspectives, and Poets & Writers.

Milena brings a profound understanding of arts administration and cultural policy processes and developments, and during her work at the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) carried out multi-stakeholder dialogues among educators, government officials, and professionals for influencing arts policy change. As the Cultural Policy Education Group’s coordinator, she has supported the efforts of universities, lecturers, students, scholars, and cultural operators in developing professional education in arts administration and cultural policy.

We could not be more thrilled to welcome Milena to AAAE, and are excited to see what her leadership will bring!