Announcing the Mentorship Program inaugural cohort

by Milena Deleva

We are pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of AAAE’s Mentorship Program. Ten mentees were selected after a rigorous evaluation process, and have been already paired with established arts administration educators and practitioners.

Benjamin Hoffman (US)
Benjamin Hoffman is the High School Visual Arts Teacher at Kutztown Area High School in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. In 2015, he completed his M.Ed. in Art Education and will complete his M.A. in Arts Administration this May at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Hoffman also serves as President of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association, a position that places him in a community filled with equally-talented, resourceful, and invigorating leaders. He is equally invested in his own growth as a leader, absorbing as much information as possible. Hoffman is committed to advocating, encouraging, and recognizing students and art educators nationwide. These experiences and leadership roles have truly shaped his trajectory as an arts advocate.

Divya Janardhan, Ph.D. (US/IN)

Dr. Divya Janardhan is Assistant Professor of Arts Administration, Management, and Advocacy at the Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts, Texas Tech University. Her research lies at the intersection of arts management practices, cultural policy, and cultural equity within the arts and cultural sector, and their interaction with cultural funding within the larger urban system.

Divya’s academic honors include research publications on the performing arts in elite journals; research accolades conferred by The International Association of Arts and Cultural Management (AIMAC); the Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts (STP&A) conference; and the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI); and being an invited speaker at Lalit Kala Akademi – India’s National Academy for the Visual Arts.

Divya has consulted for the nonprofit arts and cultural sector; has marketing and branding experience from the advertising industry; besides academic experience in teaching, arts management case creation, and research advising. She is a trained classical performing arts vocalist in the Carnatic musical tradition and has acquired visual arts training under Balan Nambiar – one of India’s leading contemporary artists and research scholars. Divya earned her doctoral degree in Cultural Policy and Arts Management from the Ohio State University. Her additional qualifications include an M.S. in Arts Administration, a P.G.D. in Advertising and Marketing, and a B.A. in Media and Communications.

Gillian Kim (US/KOR)
Gillian Kim is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at The Ohio State University (OSU). Gillian is currently a student representative on the Arts Education Partnership advisory council, which is an interagency supported by the U.S. Department of Education and the NEA. Additionally, she is serving as the Delegate of the AAEP department and a CGS Arts & Culture Committee member at OSU. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in Communication Arts and Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a master’s degree in Arts Management at CMU’s Heinz College.

Previously, Gillian worked in a wide range of arts sectors, including the Busan International Film Festival, City Theatre, and Pittsburgh Glass Center, to provide more accessible arts programs to the public. While working at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, she contributed to the data analysis of the Racial Equity & Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh and the Arts and Economic Prosperity in Allegheny County reports. She also assisted the Center for Economic Development at CMU in studying the economic impacts of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. Her current research focuses on citizen participation in creative placemaking to provide strategies for developing a more inclusive and diverse arts society.

Erica Cheung (US)
Erica Cheung is a Chicago-based arts professional, writer, and artist. She is currently a graduate student in the Dual Degree MA Arts Administration and Policy and MA Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is driven by a desire to facilitate connections between art world constituents in ways that foreground equity and social justice. Within this framework, her primary areas of interest include cultural knowledge production from the Asian diaspora, contemporary photography, and the policies governing the structure and function (or lack thereof) of cultural institutions. Cheung currently serves as the Marketing + Communications Intern at Black Cube. Previously, she was Assistant Director at the contemporary fine art photography gallery Foto Relevance. Along the way, she has held positions across multiple facets of the arts—from art fairs, to media sponsorship, to archives. She received a BA in English and Visual & Dramatic Arts with a concentration in Film/Photography, and a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, from Rice University in 2018.

Hannah Kolb (US)
Hannah Kolb is in her final semester of her masters in Arts Administration from Baruch College. Hannah grew up in New Haven, CT, and has a bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology from Skidmore College. She is currently a marketing and development intern at RxART, a nonprofit that commissions contemporary artists to do large-scale, site-specific art installations in children’s hospitals and pediatric healthcare settings. She is interested in the intersection between arts and health, specifically arts and community health initiatives. She grew up doing theater and music, and still sings extracurricularly. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

José Gabriel Maldonado Suárez (US/PR)
Dr. José Gabriel Maldonado Suárez is a musician, arts administrator, and educator from Puerto Rico based in New York City. His classical guitar solo and chamber music repertoire spans works of guitar literature from the Renaissance to contemporary music with a strong emphasis on music from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. His doctoral research focused on the Puerto Rican Danza, tracing the genre’s origins, its sociopolitical impact, and its role in the struggle for Puerto Rican decolonization.

As an arts administrator, Dr. Maldonado Suárez curates classical music presentations and events that celebrate Latine and Caribbean music manifestations. His Caribbean-focused repertoire and demonstrated passion for teaching have earned him invitations to perform and present lectures and master classes at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, Marshall University, Middlebury College, Columbia University, and the Long Island Guitar Festival, among others. Additionally, he was selected to join the 2023 inaugural cohort of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) Mentorship Program.

Dr. Maldonado Suárez is the Director of Guitar Studies at Bloomingdale School of Music and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at John Jay College, the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Maldonado Suárez holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree from Stony Brook University and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration (MA) degree from Baruch College, CUNY.

Reed Bailey (US)
Reed Bailey is a music educator of five years and is currently the Director of Bands for the Morenci Unified School District in Arizona. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Music Educators Association where he is the state’s Tri-M Honors Society Chairperson and works to expand access to music education in rural communities. Reed graduated from Troy University (Alabama) in 2019 and anticipates graduating with a Masters of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky in May of 2023. His previous experiences include teaching music on the Navajo Nation and working as an advocate for arts education expansion to the Department of the Interior: Bureau of Indian Education and teaching band, choir, and piano in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Getting his start in arts administration as an associate director and board member for a children’s community theater in his hometown of Valdosta, Georgia, Reed’s passion for access to arts education and arts programs in all communities is his motivation for pursuing opportunities in arts administration. His areas of interest are: arts advocacy, arts education, community engagement, and cultural policy.

Rica Estrada (PHIL/SG)
Rica Estrada’s Museum practice runs parallel to her roots in independent initiatives and problematizing gaps in Philippine art history. She was hired by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2012 and has served as Officer-in-Charge of its Visual Arts and Museum Division since 2015. Independently, she is Vice President of the Association of Greater Manila Area Museums, a board member of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, and co-founder of Visual Pond.

Estrada graduated with Bachelors of Fine Arts, Major in Art Management from the Ateneo De Manila University in 2005, and finished the Masters courses in Art Studies, Major in Art History, at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2018. She is currently doing her MA in Arts and Cultural Leadership at the Lasalle College of Arts Singapore, through a SEAsia Scholars Award.

Vincent Maluwa (US/MW)
Vincent Maluwa is a Cultural Producer from Malawi in Africa. Currently, he is pursuing his MFA in Arts Leadership at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US. Vincent holds a BAH in Drama from the University of Malawi. He has experience working in the Arts and Culture sector in Africa with both international and local nonprofits in various capacities including researcher, festival producer, curator, cultural translator, programs officer, and music academy administrator. He has also worked with Diplomatic Missions in Malawi. Vincent is an Alumnus of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the US Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. He is passionate about using the arts for social justice, youth development, and community engagement.

Youngaah Koh (US/KOR)
Dr. Youngaah Koh is an Assistant Professor of Arts Management & Arts Entrepreneurship at Miami University. she earned her doctorate in Arts Administration, Education, and Policy from the Ohio State University and her master’s degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University during which she was a Fulbright Fellow. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

Prior to her career in higher education, she worked with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization), where she engaged in the design and implementation of international cultural policy. She coordinated multiple international cooperation projects with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to help safeguard, revitalize their traditional arts and culture. Youngaah began her professional career as an arts journalist for The Korea Herald, a national English-language newspaper in Korea.

The 2023 mentees will receive individual guidance by the following mentors: Alan Salzenstein (Director of the Performing Arts Management Program in the School of Music and head of the MFA/Arts Leadership Program in the Theatre School at DePaul University), Anne Wilhelen Smith (Performing Arts Leadership & Management faculty at Shenandoah University), Dr. Natalia Grincheva (Programme Leader, BA(Hons) Arts Management at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore), Fleurette Fernando (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the M.A. in Arts Leadership Program at University of Houston), Jackson Reid Cooper (Arts Administration, Arts Leadership faculty at Seattle University), Julie Goodman (Department Head, Arts & Entertainment Enterprise; Associate Professor, Arts Administration & Museum Leadership at Drexel University), Kevin Maifeld (Director, MFA in Arts Leadership Director, Interdisciplinary Arts-Arts Leadership; Associate Teaching Professor, Performing Arts and Arts Leadership at Seattle University), Rachel Parker (Director of Southern Utah University’s Arts Administration program), Stephanie A. Johnson-Cunningham (Executive Director and founder of MuseumHue), Stephanie Thompson (Manager of Research at The Museum of Modern Art).


This program is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts.