2021 AAAE Board Elections

The Board Development Committee (BDC) has deliberated, and the full Board has voted. We are pleased to announce that all Nominees will advance to the ballot in the 2021 AAAE Board elections, with the exception of one Nominee who has chosen to withdraw from this election cycle. Here are the candidates who will appear on the ballot in March:

Dr. Tiffany Bourgeois

Bio: Tiffany Bourgeois is an Assistant Professor of Arts Management in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at Ohio State University. Bourgeois earned both her PhD in arts administration, education and policy and master’s degree in arts policy and administration at Ohio State. She most recently served as Audience Development Director of the Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Texas, and as Adjunct Professor for the University of Houston-Downtown. Her scholarly work examines the relationship between sports mega-events, cultural organizations, cultural outcomes and changes in perception. Bourgeois’ most recent publication can be found in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.

Position Statement: It is with great interest that I nominate myself for a position on the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) board. As an Assistant Professor of Arts Management at The Ohio State University, my research focuses on cultural institution engagement with sports mega-events. At Ohio State, I have the pleasure of teaching courses like Arts Participation, Cultural Literacy and Audience Development; Introduction to Arts Management; and Management of Non-profit Arts Organizations that foster student critical thinking skills and actively engage pedagogical approaches that address systemic issues. In my previous position as the Audience Development Director at The Ensemble Theatre, I created and implemented strategies to engage the Houston community which is reflected in increased subscription sales by approximately 15% and diversifying audiences. I was a Development Associate at the Houston Symphony, where I expanded my career by developing and applying management skills to engage over 150,000 donors via web, email and mail communication streams. As an Adjunct Professor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Houston- Downtown, I taught the Nonprofit Finance graduate course that prepares students to lead non-profit organizations. I believe my scholarly, teaching and administrative experiences make me a strong candidate for this role. Specifically, the diversity of my experiences exemplifies AAAE’s mission that focuses on inclusivity and equity.

Dr. Lorenzo Candelaria

Bio: Dean Lorenzo Candelaria joined Vanderbilt University in 2020 with a mission to focus on the professional education of highly talented young musicians who demonstrate an exceptional capacity and motivation to shape our increasingly diverse and complex global century — through the arts, with the arts, and in the arts.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Candelaria is a first-generation, Mexican American college graduate. Following a year of study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he completed his undergraduate degree in musicology at the Oberlin Conservatory where he also studied violin, viola, and the Chinese erhu (a two-stringed folk fiddle).

He received his Ph.D. in musicology with highest honors from Yale University, specializing in Renaissance music while pursuing a performance career with groups that included Walt Disney World's Mariachi Cobre and the Grammy-nominated Mariachi Sol de México.

Candelaria has held professorships at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received tenure and served for 12 years on the musicology faculty.

He later served as an Associate Provost at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), a Hispanic-Serving Institution of 25,000 students that earned national distinction for its bold and inspiring mission of “access and excellence” in a severely under-resourced community along the U.S.-Mexico border.

As Dean of the School of the Arts at SUNY Purchase, a leading public conservatory in Music and Dance as well as in the Visual and Theatrical Arts, Candelaria created "Pathways to Purchase," an exciting campaign of upward social mobility that focused on recruiting, retaining and graduating first-generation college students through thematic arts-and-humanities programming.

Position Statement: My career is singularly focused on shaping our increasingly diverse and complex global century—through the arts, with the arts, and in the arts. I serve to promote the formation of superior artists and scholars distinguished by global mindsets, broad interdisciplinary competencies, and unyielding commitments to advocacy, entrepreneurship, and inclusive excellence. My work in any capacity is oriented by four cardinal directions. These point toward:

• New and Diverse Communities—a persistent and intentional cultivation of new and diverse audiences, new and diverse voices in arts programming, and new and diverse students and instructors capable of harnessing the power of the arts to unite across differences and promote common cause.
• Science, Technology and Wellness—a direction that leads to open vistas for the better-informed training of artists; for innovative research involving arts, science, and medicine; and for the development of programming that places the arts more substantially in the core of K-12 curricula, especially in our Title I schools.
• Economic and Social Mobility—a direction that heroically engages the spoken (and more often unspoken) belief that access to the arts and arts education is a good thing—as long as there is time and money. To the contrary, the arts offer gateways to opportunities, growth, and enrichment when taken as something beyond mere entertainment.
• Winning the Day for Public Arts Education—a direction that demands persistent and daily effort to work with community stakeholders: making the case for the arts, developing new funding models for the arts, and developing our future arts leaders for the private and public sectors.

Candelaria is a former trustee and Vice President for Community Engagement and Education with the El Paso Symphony and currently serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras.

Brenda Lee Johnston

Bio: Brenda Lee Johnston received her Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management with an emphasis in Dance and a minor in Theatre Arts—Drama from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She worked for Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, and Skylight Opera Theatre prior to becoming the Founding Director of the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (SMPAC). She managed every aspect of the organization, being its sole employee for the first two years. During her six years at SMPAC, she developed two performing arts series and increased audiences by 225% during The Great Recession, with several sell-out performances during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. She helped renew pride in a community in need of being revitalized.

Following her tenure at SMPAC, Johnston pursued a dual Master’s degree in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University and Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts from Universita di Bologna in Italy. Her graduate thesis research was conducted at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History under the guidance of Nina Simon. Her thesis is entitled, “The Roles of Museums in Communities: Social Inclusion & Community Engagement.” She joined the Arts Administration faculty at Butler University after serving as the Executive Director of the Schauer Arts Center and teaching as an adjunct lecturer at UW-Stevens Point. While at the Schauer Center, she grew their Community School of the Arts offerings and enrollment and developed younger audiences due to new programming in their six performing arts series, which she programmed. She has performed with Skylight Opera Theatre, Wild Space Dance Company, Katie Sopoci and Michelle DiMeo for DanceWorks Performance Company’s “Art to Art”, Cantare Chorale, and others.

Position Statement: Community is at the center of all my work whether it be on behalf of my students and alumni, the arts organization(s) I serve, my university, or the greater community in which I live and work. I work to build community and strengthen people’s connections to and through the arts; and do so by providing opportunities for all voices to be heard and supported. It is this commitment to community and service to others and the field as a whole that will guide my role on the AAAE board. I am very much about collaboration and sharing information in order to improve our individual and collective work and I wish to serve AAAE by supporting deeper collaborations between members and increasing the sharing of information so we can all work to build brighter futures for our students and the arts sector as a whole.

Dr. Kate Keeney

Bio: Kate Keeney is an Assistant Professor of Arts Management at the College of Charleston. Her research interests bridge arts management and nonprofit management scholarship with a specific focus on cultural policy, leadership, and organizations. She serves as a consulting editor for the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, and as second vice president for the South Carolina Arts Alliance. Additionally, she has completed research on local arts initiatives with the Riley Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston. Previously, Keeney managed several high-level, university-wide initiatives at Virginia Tech, including the construction of the $100 million Moss Arts Center. She has held professional positions at the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Americans for the Arts, the Cathedral Choral Society, and the New York Philharmonic.

Position Statement: As many of you may relate, I am an academic with a past life in arts administration. This blend of experience is essential to arts administration education. I work best with others and enjoy collaborating--skills that are necessary to board service. I have been fortunate to have had many excellent mentors and teachers along my path. My hope is for AAAE, as an essential network and a service organization, to act in a similar capacity for emerging leaders and scholars.

With an academic background in public administration, I approach much of arts management education through a lens of public service and value. One day it will be commonplace for arts organizations to easily express value. As a scholar, who is in the privileged position to question the status quo and critique practice, I recognize that changing practice is easier said than done. Yet, if arts organizations are to remain valuable, then it is our duty as educators of future arts leaders to confront the social and economic inequities that permeate our organizational systems at the most fundamental levels. AAAE has accepted this challenge and I look forward to being a part of this important work.

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Jeremy Peters

Bio: Jeremy Peters, FRSA, MBA (Cantab), is an Assistant Professor of Music (Business and Entrepreneurship) in the Department of Music at Wayne State University and is a co-founder of Quite Scientific Records. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Before academia, he was the Director of Music Publishing for Ghostly International, having built the division at the company. At Ghostly, he worked on projects for visual media with major brands and music supervised the EMMY Award-winning documentary film, “MEDORA.”

Jeremy previously taught at the University of Michigan’s Law School and School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. There, he taught coursework on copyright, problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and the music industry. He has published or presented papers in journals such as “Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts,” and for conferences for the Society of Arts Entrepreneurship Educators, International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, NEA AEI Lab, and the Creativity, Knowledge, Cities conference.

Jeremy graduated with a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School and is a life member of Clare Hall College. He holds an undergraduate degree with dual concentrations in Music and Political Science from the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

He is a voting member of The Recording Academy (the GRAMMYs), the Association of Arts Administration Educators, Society of Arts Entrepreneurship Educators, Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association, Academy of Management, and the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He currently serves as an advisor to the Detroit Sound Conservancy and President of the Board of Directors for Detroit’s professional choral ensemble, Audivi. Previously, he held positions with the American Association of Independent Music (Governmental Relations Committee), 826michigan (Vice-President of the Board of Directors), and Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors).

Position Statement: I believe that my position as a practicing artist, arts administrator, researcher, and teacher embodies the integration of praxis and research that AAAE hopes to achieve as an organization of educators. To this end, I believe I will be a champion for the change which the organization is embracing and enacting. We hope to graduate students who will be amply and ably prepared to create, develop, facilitate, evaluate, and ultimately lead arts and culture organizations in their communities. These organizations will need to be adaptable yet dedicated to tradition, flexible yet strong, and innovative yet fully inclusive. These are no easy tasks to ask of an organization, the future leaders we graduate, our institutions, or even ourselves.

Nevertheless, this is the challenge we face as arts administration educators. I believe my background and experience will help AAAE live out its mission, inspiring vision, and passionate values. Additionally, I think I bring a bit of an outsider’s view to AAAE as a newer member. I fully admit that this could be viewed negatively by some, but I prefer to view it in a positive light. I see many educators in near-neighbor fields who would benefit from AAAE's conferences and offerings. To this end, I see and advocate for partnership within a spirit of coopetition, a healthy mix of competition and cooperation that serves to grow our output while keeping diverse organizations afloat during times where travel and conference budgets are continually cut at our institutions.

Dr. Ian Saunders

Bio: Student development has been the focal point of my work as an educator, mentor, and administrator. This perspective has consistently proved invaluable, such as when I oversaw and ensured the well-being of 250+ students as the Associate Dean of Students with the Eastern Music Festival. During my appointment, I trained 50 staff members to address the basic social-emotional needs of our student population, in addition to atypical situations such as sexual harassment, depression, and suicide. We worked diligently to ensure students never felt the need to compartmentalize their cultural identities in order to pursue their orchestral dreams: a circumstance I am deeply familiar with myself.

In 2006, I began my teaching career with The Young Audiences of VA, and the Churchland High School Magnet Program (now the Center for Excellence) in Portsmouth, VA. I made genuine connections with the students because I intimately understood their social-emotional needs based on my shared experiences growing up in an under-served community. Building on this foundation, I helped students find ways to express their personalities through playing. I later sought to make more of these connections every time I relocated to a new community.

Since 2012, most of my teaching experience has stemmed from faculty positions at several colleges and universities, such as the University of Maryland, the University of Cincinnati, and the Pennsylvania State University where I’ve developed and implemented curricula. From 2017 to 2019, I had the honor of playing with The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as a Diversity Fellow with The CSO and The Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Because of my personal and professional experience, I know how to support artists of color at every stage of development.

Position Statement: As a board member, I will continue to advocate for an equitable and inclusive environment in the orchestral world by pushing for diverse representation in administration. Although a minor, but significant, change in representation is noted in the repertoire and performers, it is likely to remain incremental unless the administration at the schools perseverating eurocentrism and patriarchal standards embrace diverse leadership.

Furthermore, in order to support aspiring administrators from underrepresented backgrounds we must consider not only the barrier to entry, but the cost to stay. It is important for organizations to realize that a person from an underrepresented community is not the solution to a systemic problem. The onus of building a reckoning bridge between an organization and the community it serves is beyond the scope of any one individual. A point that may seem obvious, but yet exist.

If elected to the board, I will help develop tools and resources for our members to effectively assess the needs of the communities they serve. Establishing this connection with their respective communities alleviates the conflation of intent with understanding, and the organization can drive positive change by using its artistry to directly engage the needs of the community.

Dr. Jaleesa Wells

Bio: Jaleesa Wells, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky. Prior experience includes teaching in the areas of arts and festivals management and international cultural policy, as well as entrepreneurship, venture planning, and creativity and innovation at higher education institutions in Scotland and England (“the other UK”). Dr. Wells’ research focuses on the hybrid intersections between culture and enterprise, such as the emergence of social enterprise in the arts and culture sector, of which she was awarded the ‘President’s Award for Best Paper by an Early Career Researcher’ at the 39th Annual Conference for the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Paris, France. Concurrently, she conducts creative and collaborative scholarship that investigates the experiences of Black women in cultural institutions, as well as scholarship exploring the making, unmaking, and use of institutional data as a creative practice. Dr. Wells also maintains an arts practice and embeds her research with creative methods such as poetry, performance, and visual art. Professionally, Dr. Wells worked as an arts administrator in the performing arts: serving as the finance manager of a spectacle theatre company in Chicago, and working in public relations, marketing, and ticket office management in opera houses throughout the country such as Central City Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. Dr. Wells also served as an AmeriCorps member with the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville and was awarded the honor of joining the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Dr. Wells earned her Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde Business School in Scotland, the U.K., M.A. in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a B.Sc. in Theatre Management with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Evansville.

Position Statement: Jaleesa Wells, Ph.D. brings with her expertise in the intersections of culture and enterprise, racial and gender equity in the arts, and diversity issues in cultural institutions, which contributes to AAAE’s continued interest in sustainable arts and culture economy and the promotion of resilient and sustainable DEI initiatives. Having recently lived, worked, and studied in the United Kingdom and Europe, Dr. Wells also contributes to the development of relationships with international arts administration and cultural industries partners. Dr. Wells has over a decade’s worth of professional and educational experience in arts administration, cultural management, and the creative/cultural industries. Maintaining a grounding in both practice and theory, Dr. Wells is dedicated to contributing to the board through active and tangible committee and project work that continues to position AAAE as a global leader in arts administration curricular development, as well as uplift entrepreneurial and social praxis in a wider cultural economy.

Current AAAE Board member up for re-election to a second term:

Dr. Yuha Jung

Bio: I am an associate professor and director of graduate studies of Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky. I am a devoted educator and researcher who is passionate about studying museums and social and cultural justice issues around the arts and cultural organizations and teaching students about them. I primarily teach financial management for arts organizations both on undergraduate and graduate levels. For our new found PhD program, I am currently developing a course on organization theories, which I intend to teach in 2022. I am also an associate editor for the journal, Museum Management and Curatorship.

For research, I study the interrelationship between systems theory and cultural diversity in arts and culture organizations. More specifically, I write about a structural and systemic change theory that can affect organizations and their surroundings leading to paradigmatic shifts, rather than changing one part of an organization, which may not be sustainable. Based on this theory, I have co-edited a book entitled, Systems Thinking in Museums: Theory and Practice. I am currently working on a monograph with a working title, Transforming Museum Management: Using Evidence-Based Systems Thinking for Change. Some of my previous publications are found in the following peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, Museum Management and Curatorship, International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Studies in Art Education, and Qualitative Inquiry.

I am originally from South Korea where I got a BFA in painting from Yeungnam University. I also have an MA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University, an MPA from the University of Georgia, and a PhD in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University with an emphasis on museum education and management. While at Penn State, I managed a teaching gallery, Edwin W. Zoller Gallery, where I coordinated exhibitions by students, faculty, and visiting artists.

Position Statement:

I have been a board member of the AAAE for 2.5 years and am currently seeking reelection. I have two main areas I would like to focus on if I am reelected: (1) continuously working toward equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work; and (2) help facilitate grounded, collaborative, and multidisciplinary research among members.

As a board member, I participated in integrating EDI work throughout all aspects of what we do as an organization rather than treating it separately from our “regular” work. I also served as an EDI liaison on the board, making sure we do not lose sight of how EDI work is an integral part of what we do. The movement toward broader membership, more transparent processes of board nomination and election, and revision of the organization’s by-laws were collective efforts of the board and our members in this integrative way of thinking about EDI work. However, we have a lot more work to do and this is an ongoing process. I plan to continuously work toward this effort.

Additionally, the field of arts administration is becoming more diverse and complex, which is exacerbated by the pandemic and social crises we currently face. During this time, we must work with artists, art organizations, public entities, and their professionals in conducting meaningful and targeted research that can inform practice. I truly believe in this type of research and we can have more space, collaboration, resources, and professional development for this type of research in our conferences and other programming efforts.