2022 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 2022 AAAE Board elections. Here are the candidates who will appear on the ballot in March:

Cheryl Slay Carr (Individual Member)

Bio & Position Statement: Cheryl Slay Carr, Associate Professor, Author, Attorney, and Vocalist, is an award-winning Associate Dean of the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University. Her emphases include leadership, career empowerment, and diversity in law, arts and entertainment. She is author of Music Business Careers: Career Duality in the Creative Industries, co-author of Music Copyright Law, contributing author to ABA-BNA published book Trademark Infringement Remedies, and other publications. She is a recipient of the Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award, and Women in Music City Award.

Carr earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, received a Master of Public Administration from Clark-Atlanta University, and earned her Juris Doctor degree from The University of Maryland School of Law. She serves as Associate Dean of the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University, where she supports the college through oversight of its operations and leads diversity initiatives, strategic planning, curriculum development, and faculty development. Before joining Belmont, she worked as an intellectual property/entertainment law attorney representing a range of businesses, filmmakers, novelists, record companies, musicians, technology companies and visual artists.

Her entertainment industry experience is augmented by experience in developing public policy through managing and advising public sector programs. She serves as President-Elect for the Board of Directors for the Nashville Opera Company has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Popular Music Education, the Jazz Education Network, the Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society, and Maryland Lawyers for the Arts.

She completed the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers in International and Comparative Intellectual Property, is a Maryland Bar Foundation Fellow, and is an alumna of the 2010 class of Leadership Music. She is also a performing artist and producer of Invocation, an EP of jazz-inspired recordings.

The mission of the AAAE to equip institutions and students with information for creating sustainable and diverse arts administration programs resonates with my own experience and work in the field of entertainment law and business. I also support AAAE's mission concerning the important work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Accordingly, I am submitting my self-nomination to the board of directors to work with AAAE in carrying out its activities and supporting its members.

Destyni Green (Student Member)

Bio & Position Statement: Destyni Green is an artist, writer, and emerging arts administrator born in Cleveland, Ohio. Green is a first-generation, Afro-Latina, college student holding a BFA in Sculpture + Expanded Media with a concentration in creative writing from Cleveland Institute of Art. Presently, she is attending the University of Kentucky for a Masters in Art Administration, where she has also become a student worker for an open educational resource project. During her time in graduate school, Green has done extensive research on art advocacy, EDI topics, and community access.

As a community leader, artist, and emerging arts administrator Green prioritizes fair opportunity and value of POC artists, students, and community creatives. Her achievements include serving as a student member of Cleveland Institute of Art's Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Awareness (IDEA) Council and as a member of Cleveland Institute of Arts Alumni Council. In 2020, Green curated the virtual outdoor sculpture tour Art in our Midst: African American Sculptors to Know, based upon a research project she conducted while interning as the Ohio Outdoor Researcher for the Sculpture Center in 2019. The following summer, the virtual tour featured on the Emmy award-winning arts show Broad and High.

In addition to her community engagement and curatorial work, Green professionally works as the Artist Opportunities Manager at The Morgan Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation overseeing Artists in Residence, internship,scholarship, and volunteer programs . Her artistic achievement includes exhibiting in Cross Generations; bridging the gap of artists at The Morgan Conservatory, New Beginnings at Waterloo Arts, and the virtual exhibition Handled With Care.

As a member of AAAE's Board of Directors, I plan to serve as an active and passionate student member for the three-year term. AAAE's work initially helped me navigate my journey as a first-generation college student seeking a degree in art administration. AAAE helped me feel empowered in my choice to become an art administrator and pursue higher education at a program that fits me. As someone who directly benefited from the work of AAAE members, I would like to give my time and skill to support AAAE's efforts. I will serve in an impactful way; I would like to lend my skills, knowledge, and experiences to equity, diversity, inclusion, advocacy, and community to serve the community and support art administration education and programming. In addition, I would like to act as a member in a way that brings together my personal and professional experiences as a student and artist of color living in Cleveland's arts and culture community. By doing so, I could also further inform how I approach my education in art administration and my practice as an arts administrator and community leader. A term with AAAE's Board of Directors would allow me to become an excellent resource to myself and future students and educators of art administration that I may cross paths with. Overall, I would serve as a student member that is genuine, active, and receptive in all efforts to support AAAE's mission to advance an inclusive, equitable, and resilient environment for the arts by supporting arts administration education faculty and programs.

Rebecca Peirson (Individual Member)

Bio & Position Statement: Rebecca is a seasoned arts marketing professional. She managed Mongrel Media’s Theatrical and Video Marketing and Sales departments, was the Marketing Manager at the National Film Board of Canada, the Marketing and Communications Director at Nightwood Theatre, the Associate Director of Marketing and Audience Development at Luminato Festival as well as the Marketing Manager at Crow’s Theatre. She has volunteered on various boards and committees and currently sits on the Mass Culture Networking Group.

As Program Coordinator of the Arts Management program at Centennial College, Rebecca brings a wealth of organizational and administrative experience to her lead role as well as solid post graduate teaching experience – Centennial’s Arts Management and Museums and Cultural Management post graduate programs as well as Seneca College’s Event Marketing post graduate program. In February 2020, she was a lead organizer for an Arts Management student trip to Iqaluit, Nunavut to work with Qaggiavuut Performing Arts Centre. From January 2019 to January 2020, she was hired as the Interim Chair of the Arts and Design department at Centennial’s School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design as well as continuing her role as the Arts Management Coordinator.

As a professor, Rebecca is a creative, versatile and forward-thinking leader. She believes storytelling is the key to students’ success and uses this as a thread throughout her teaching and research. Her ability to encourage robust exchange of ideas in the classroom promotes inclusivity and an open forum for dialogue. Through her years of marketing and outreach work in the arts and cultural community in the GTA and beyond, she brings practical and current examples of industry best practices into the classroom.

It is at this juncture of my career that I feel I have the most to offer my colleagues, students and the arts industry at large. I am a responsible and effective steward of the arts and culture in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), across Canada and beyond its borders. The Association of Arts Administration Educators supports arts administration and education faculty and serves as a hub for knowledge. I believe I can add a strong voice to its inclusive, equitable and resilient environment. The very foundation from which I teach and from which I work is based on these same tenets. I have a robust 25-year arts leader background focussed on marketing in the arts and community outreach. I am a connector of people, a generator of ideas, a good listener and a whole hearted collaborator. I believe I can bring a fresh voice to the Board, a Canadian arts leader perspective - one that will help stretch AAAE northward in order to grow its membership, deepen its relationships and enrich its network.

Dr. Sharbreon Plummer (Individual Member)

Bio & Position Statement: Dr. Sharbreon Plummer (Baton Rouge, LA) is an artist, strategist, storyteller and educator with over a decade of experience in arts management and community engagement roles.

Dr. Plummer has served as an Alliance of Artist Communities Diversity and Leadership Fellow, YWCA Leadership for Social Change Fellow and participant in the 2018 Tate Intensive. She has created and facilitated work presented in/for institutions such as Project Row Houses, Rush Corridor Gallery, the African American Museum in Philadelphia , Hampshire College, Americans for the Arts and Blaffer Museum. Her dissertation, Haptic Memory: Resituating Black Women’s Lived Experiences in Fiber Art Narratives, was awarded the ABARAKA Award by the San Antonio Ethnic Art Society and the Manuel Barkan Dissertation Award by The Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at OSU. Dr. Plummer has been featured as an artist-in-residence at Rogers Art Loft (Las Vegas, NV) and Arquetopia (Forthcoming May 2022). She is the founder of AYA Thought Studio and also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Houston’s M.A. in Arts Leadership program.

As a AAAE board member, Dr. Plummer is invested in supporting the expansion of how arts management can be defined, and how anti-racism is built into pedagogy and praxis within and outside of higher education.

I am interested in continuing the work of supporting students in the evolving field of Arts Administration and challenging the status quo as it relates to equity and advancing anti-racism. The pandemic has presented an opportunity to rethink the possibilities for arts organizations and how arts managers are defined. I would like to use my tenure to explore how pedagogy and community-based relationships can support this reenvisioning of our field and its place in the world.

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

Diane Claussen (Institutional Member)

Bio & Position Statement: Diane Claussen is Head of Theatre Management/Assistant Professor at The Theatre School at DePaul University and the Managing Partner of 3C Theatre Partners, a Chicago-based arts consulting practice specializing in strategic planning, resources expansion and sustainability, executive searches and arts education. Prior to joining DePaul’s faculty in 2018, Diane was the Managing Director of the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University, and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Theatre. Diane brings to her teaching and academic work close to 20 years as a professional regional theatre Executive/Managing Director at Paper Mill Playhouse and George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Court Theatre in residence at the University of Chicago. Diane and Court Theatre received the ABBY Award for Arts Management Excellence from the Arts & Business Council of Chicago.

Diane has also worked in development at the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and as Managing Director/Assistant Professor and head of the undergraduate Theatre Management Program at Ithaca College. She is the Co-Editor of the American Journal of Arts Management and Board Secretary for the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE). Diane received a B.A. in Drama and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington, and a M.B.A. and a M.A. in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University.

Diane is an advocate for the national, not-for-profit theatre field, and as a theatre leader, manager, and educator she has been a champion and producer of new work, passionate about business ethics and committed to supporting women and BIPOC artists and administrators. Diane's current research and scholarship is about women theatre leaders and the #MeToo movement. Diane co-authored with Paige Whitson-Martini (MFA, DePaul ’21), “Women Leaders & the #MeToo Movement: Gender Progress and Sexism in the American Theatre,” a book chapter for Critical Approaches to Arts Administration in the New Millennium scheduled for publication in 2022.

In addition to serving for two years on the AAAE Executive Committee and as Board Secretary, I enjoyed Co-Chairing the annual AAAE Conference Planning Committee in 2020 (the year we suddenly had to pivot to an online conference). I continued as a board rep on the expanded conference planning committee in 2021, and I will be serving on the Steering Committee for the 2022 Conference. I served on the AAAE Executive Director Search Committee in summer 2021 and I am currently co-chairing the AAAE Consulting Affinity Group with former AAAE Board President Kevin Maifeld. We created the group in 2021 when we identified an opportunity to bring together faculty, students, alumni, and industry partners working at the intersection of arts consulting, research and teaching. I am currently serving as the 2021-2022 EDI Fellow Mentor and supporting EDI Fellow Jaime Sharp’s research project focused on the increasing roles and work of EDI/diversity directors at not-for-profit professional opera companies in the United States. My professional passions and interests center on sharing resources, collaborating and peer learning, and supporting communities of and for arts leaders and administrators. As our field continues to face challenges in 2022 and well beyond, I look forward to continuing to identify opportunities and helping to create initiatives and programming to support AAAE’s expanding membership, our students and alumni as well as the arts community overall.

Jim O'Connell (Institutional Member)

Bio & Position Statement: I serve as Associate Professor and Coordinator of the undergraduate Arts Management program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). I hold an M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Graduate School of Business (Bolz Center) and an A.B. in Drama and Government from Dartmouth College. Drawing on 47 years spent managing and programming performing arts centers, I teach the fundamentals of arts management and courses in fundraising, the community and the arts, and artistic planning; and supervise arts management internships and front-of-house practica for theatre and dance students.

To remain current on organizations and opportunities in Wisconsin on behalf of my students, I serve as a regular grant review panelist for the Creation and Presentation Program of the Wisconsin Arts Board and the Community Arts Grant program of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. I was instrumental in the development of both those programs.

Among my service commitments at UWSP have been strategic planning, historic preservation, and two ad hoc working groups. The first reviewed institutional budget models. The other developed the hybrid teaching framework that was adopted for the 2020-21 academic year. For the Department of Theatre and Dance, in which our Arts Management program is housed, I was a founding member of the Allyship/Advocacy/Access committee which developed the first comprehensive departmental anti-racism plan on campus. On the strength of that plan, Theatre/Dance was selected as UWSP’s nominee for the 2022 Wisconsin Regents Award.

My students have honored me with three University Leadership Mentor Awards and an Alliance of Multicultural Diversity Organizations Inclusive Excellence Award.

As a researcher, I am fascinated by the 40-year cycle of North American performance facility construction booms and have presented various aspects of this phenomenon at regional booking conferences and the 2017 AAAE Conference in Edinburgh. I have also become curious about the names by which we describe our field, including arts administration, arts management, and arts leadership. That exploration resulted in an essay for the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and a panel discussion at the 2019 AAAE Conference in Madison.

I am currently treasurer and executive committee member of the Association of Arts Administration Educators. With my predecessor as treasurer, Julie Goodman of Drexel University, I co-authored a case study on the successful transition of the 2020 AAAE Conference from in-person to virtual. It is due to be published in a book of nonprofit cases this year and was the subject of a session at the 2021 virtual conference, where we were joined by former AAAE executive director Lee Ann Adams and current associate director Haley Carlson, the people to whom the credit for that success is due.

Now in my third year on the AAAE Board, I have been privileged to work with extraordinary colleagues and an amazing staff. I am particularly proud of the work we have done together through the upheavals of the past two years to maintain the stability of the organization and provide meaningful conferences, webinars, and workshops, and of the work we have begun – there is SO MUCH yet to do – to exemplify equity, diversity, and inclusion and embrace them as the overarching ethos of the organization.

There are three priority areas on which I would continue to focus during a second term on the Board:

Budget: Working with our new executive director, Milena Deleva, associate director Haley Carlson, and our colleagues on the Finance Committee to expand funding sources, provide appropriate support for our excellent staff, and infuse resources for EDI priorities into the budget. (If it’s not in the budget, it’s not a priority.)

Student Members: Advancing the work begun under Student Committee co-chair Sharbreon Plummer to bring to those new AAAE members meaningful services and opportunities for participation, and to support the EDI Fellow(s) in their projects and subsequent transition into the profession.

AAAE’s Value to You: When I left the performance presentation field eight years ago, I despaired of ever again finding so rich a community of colleagues and friends. That pessimism was misplaced. The relationships I have formed through AAAE are as profound, nurturing, and just plain fun as any I have known. I want the same for all our members. My first role as a Board member was to convene discussions on what AAAE can do for you. Echoes of those conversations are visible in our affinity groups (Student Members, Consulting, International), the monthly webinars Haley Carlson coordinates, and the online social (“Lobby Bar”) sessions during our 2021 virtual conference. There’s much more we can do to connect with one another – new affinity groups, mentorship for developing programs and new colleagues, formal and informal networking, you-name-it. (Really. Send your suggestions.) I want your AAAE membership to be the gateway to satisfying opportunities, professional and personal.

It would be my honor to continue to serve you.