TACA Perforum | A Conversation to Advance Arts & Culture
About TACA Perforum
TACA Perforum is an annual, community-wide arts symposium designed to advance a collective vision for what a thriving arts and cultural community can look like for Dallas and North Texas. Through a conversation facilitated by expert panelists and roundtable discussions, we seek an infusion of ideas to consider debate, explore, and possibly adapt and develop for implementation locally.
Since 2009, TACA Perforum has served as a forum to both identify and address needs in the North Texas arts community. The New Works Fund (2012), the North Texas Cultural Co-op (2013), the Artist Residency Fund (2015) and the TACA Perforum: Amplifier Workshops (2015) are programs that have been launched by TACA to meet needs identified through Perforum.
2019 TACA Perforum: Art Matters! The Arts’ Relevance in Contemporary Culture
Monday, October 28, 2019
8:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Nasher Sculpture Center & Crow Museum of Asian Art
Moderated by Dr. Zannie Voss, Director of SMU DataArts
Arts and cultural organizations across the country are striving to increase their footprint of relevance, appeal and representation in an often-indifferent world. How can we be more proactive and nimble as we seek to matter more to more people? With the help of three change-makers leading innovation in our field, this year’s TACA Perforum will explore the arts’ relevance in contemporary culture and examine the value of learning, journalism, and inclusion in the arts.
8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Continental Breakfast | Nasher Sculpture Center
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Panel Discussion | Nasher Sculpture Center
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Breakout Sessions | Crow Museum of Asian Art
2019 TACA Perforum Panelists & Moderator
Director, Smithsonian Latino Center, Washington D.C.
Eduardo Díaz is the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center and a 30-year veteran of arts administration. Díaz is responsible for the management and delivery of exhibitions, public and educational programs and the Latino Center’s Latino Virtual Museum.
Previously, Díaz was the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M. Before joining the NHCC, Díaz managed a private consulting firm that served arts institutions and agencies, statewide advocacy groups and community-based organizations. From 1981 to 1999, Díaz served as the director of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Antonio.
Díaz earned a law degree in 1976 from the University of California at Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in 1972 in Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Elizabeth Méndez Berry
Director, Voice, Creativity and Culture, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY
Elizabeth Méndez Berry directs the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s Voice, Creativity and Culture portfolio, focusing on the foundation’s investments in the arts, pop culture and media. Prior to joining Nathan Cummings, she worked at the Ford Foundation, on its journalism portfolio, and then at the Surdna Foundation, where she led the Artists Engaging in Social Change portfolio.
Before working in philanthropy, Elizabeth was an award-winning journalist and cultural critic whose work appeared in Vibe, the Village Voice and the Washington Post. In Jay-Z’s book Decoded, he cites one of her essays as inspiring a line on the song “P.S.A.” from The Black Album. Her work has been included on syllabi at colleges around the country, and she has lectured at Princeton, Texas A&M, Harvard and Jackson State.
She has been an adjunct professor of music journalism at New York University and is a recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism from the New Journalism Foundation in Cartagena. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University.
Director, Youth and Young Adult Initiatives, The Village for Arts and Humanities, Philadelphia, PA
Mike O’Bryan is widely recognized as an expert practitioner and thought leader in the fields of community development, organizational culture, and trauma-informed practices. Since 2015, O’Bryan has served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Initiatives at the Village of Arts and Humanities, a nonprofit headquartered in North Philadelphia.
O’Bryan is currently a Corzo Fellow at The Corzo Center for The Creative Economy at The University of the Arts and an Innovation Fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation in support of a startup venture focused on the advancement of behavioral skills and equity in the field of workforce development.
Prior to that, O’Bryan spent more than a decade working directly with underserved populations — including veterans, adults in recovery, returning citizens, youth impacted by the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and families experiencing homelessness — and as a consultant and advisor for multiple nonprofits, businesses, and local government agencies.
O’Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of the Arts and a certificate in Childhood Trauma Studies from Jefferson University.
Dr. Zannie Voss
Director, SMU DataArts, Dallas, TX
Dr. Zannie Voss is Director of SMU DataArts as well as Professor of Arts Management in the Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business at SMU. Previously she was a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, a professional theater company dedicated to the co-production of new works. She served as managing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, associate manager of the Alley Theatre, and worked in audience development for Center Theatre Group. Research consulting clients include the League of American Orchestras, the Irvine Foundation, Theatre Development Fund and Theatre Communications Group, where she has co-authored Theatre Facts since 1998. Her published research on the strategic factors that influence organizational performance appears in over a dozen academic and practitioner journals.
Voss serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, TRG Arts, and TACA. She is co-author of the book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Arts.
2019 TACA Perforum Sponsors
Explore Past TACA Perforum
Meeting Community Needs
Monday, October 29, 2018
Nasher Sculpture Center
Moderated by Zannie Voss, Director of SMU DataArts
Across the country, arts organizations are actively seeking to broaden their relevance, appeal and reflection of America’s changing demographics. As the population continues to shift around us and we seek out ways to become and stay engaged in our community, it begs the question, “How are we meeting the needs of our community?”
This year’s TACA Perforum will explore this question and the idea that when we better understand and take into account the attitudes, behaviors and needs of those in our community, we do a better job with the content and delivery of our programs. In doing so, we create offerings that better meet people’s needs and interests and increase our relevance in the community.
Director of Marketing & Innovation, City of Albuquerque, NM
Carlos currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Innovation at the City of Albuquerque. Contreras is a Kellogg Community Leadership Network Fellow, and Masters Student in the Department of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Currently, on hiatus from a post as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chicano/a Studies, Contreras is a community organizer, small business owner, artist, father, and human being. Contreras works daily to try and make the community he lives in, a better place for everyone who lives there too. He is a published author, and National Champion performance poet, working to create space for artists in Albuquerque, in ways that don’t exist. He believes that Art is Economic Development and Community is in Collaboration.
Artistic & Executive Director, SAY Sí,
San Antonio, TX
Jon is an artist masquerading as an arts administrator who serves as the Artistic | Executive Director of SAY Sí, a national award winning, creative youth development program for urban students. The tuition-free program encompasses 6 distinct multidisciplinary arts programs, including visual, performing, film, and game design. SAY Sí is situated in a 26,000 square foot facility in San Antonio’s Cultural Arts District. Jon has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth. Jon also serves as a trustee for the National Guild for Community Arts Education, helping lead their Creative Youth Development initiative. He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation’s creative leaders.
VP of Strategic Foresight, AAM & Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums
Elizabeth is the Alliance of American Museum’s Vice President for Strategic Foresight, and founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums – a think-tank and research & development lab for the museum field. She is the author of the AAM’s annual TrendsWatch report, and writes and speaks prolifically on the trends shaping the future of nonprofit organizations. (M.A. Duke University, B.S. Yale University, Museum Management Institute.)
Executive Director, Merce Cunningham Trust
New York, NY
Ken has a long diverse career in and around the arts. He is currently the Executive Director of the Merce Cunningham Trust, where he oversees all operations and strategic planning. Prior to that, Ken worked as a consultant on strategic planning and other organizational matters, independently and as a Senior Associate at AEA Consulting. From 2013-2016, he was Deputy Dean at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, after serving as the first Dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College, Before joining academia, Ken was the General Manager at New York City Ballet (NYCB), which followed a long career as a lighting designer – Ken still lights for Stephen Petronio with whom he has worked for more than three decades – and as an intellectual property attorney. Ken lives in New York City with his wife and holds a third degree black belt in Taekwondo, which he teaches weekly.
Cross Sector Collaboration: Intersections between Arts Organizations and the Broader Arts Ecology
Monday, October 23, 2017
Nasher Sculpture Center
Moderated by Zannie Giraud Voss, Southern Methodist University
There is no discipline that nurtures the ability to imagine, sparks creativity and innovation and stimulates action more than arts and culture. So it should come as no surprise that many artists and arts organizations are joining together with social, health, education and other sectors in creative intersections to advance shared goals in their communities.
This year’s TACA Perforum will examine instances of these partnerships happening across the nation and why they are important. There will also be an opportunity to discuss ways in which we can fuel further successful collaborations in North Texas.
Director of Creative Industries, Creative Many
Cézanne Charles is a designer, curator and researcher working on design, technology, social justice and public policy for future-making. Cézanne is the Director of Creative Industries for Creative Many Michigan and co-leads the design and implementation of Creative Many’s creative industries research efforts. Cézanne also directs Creative Many’s programs providing the knowledge, funding, networks and advocacy needed to empower the practices of artists, designers and designer-makers within the state. Programs under her direction include the Kresge Artist Fellows Professional Practice Opportunities program and the Resonant Detroit granting program that supports artists/collectives doing place-based work in Detroit at the intersection of social justice and impact.
Cézanne serves on the Detroit Creative Corridor Center UNESCO Detroit City of Design Stewardship Board and the Board of Directors of Allied Media Project. She recently curated the ShiftSpace exhibition and pop-up café as part of the 2017 Saint-Étienne International Design Biennale.
Executive Director, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
New York, NY
Lauren Kelley is the Director and Chief Curator of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in Harlem, New York. As an integral–and founding–member of the senior staff since 2013, Lauren has played a key role in the strategic growth of the organization in developing the Museum’s curatorial and public programs as Associate Director or Curatorial Programs. Since the Museum’s opening in October 2015, she has organized all of its art exhibitions of established and emerging artists, as well as artists with ties to Harlem and Northern Manhattan. In addition, she has been instrumental in elevating the Museum’s outreach efforts to the artist community, most notably by spearheading the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program.
Prior to growing the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, Lauren served as founding curator of the first fine art gallery at Prairie View A&M University in Texas for eleven years. Her artwork has also been on view at The New Museum, NY, The Kitchen, NY, LACE, LA, and the 2016 Parisian Film Festival’s “Cinema Different” an experimental film screening at the Pompidou Center.
Arts and Culture Strategist and Cross-Field Innovator,
former Arts Program Director & Portfolio Director, The James Irvine Foundation
Los Angeles, CA
Josephine Ramirez is a senior leader in the arts nonprofit sector. Her work focuses on the impact of arts and culture: how they contribute to the development of stronger, healthier communities, and how they help us to understand one another and to live better together. She most recently was the Arts Program Director at The James Irvine Foundation, leading an initiative aimed at benefiting more of California’s diverse and low-income communities. Josephine also initiated Irvine’s inclusion as one of the original funders of ArtPlace America.
Before joining Irvine, Josephine was Vice President of Programming and Planning for the Music Center in Los Angeles, where she founded and launched a major program initiative that increased active arts participation and provided arts experiences that embraced and reflected immigrant communities and culture. Previously, she was a Program Officer at the Getty Foundation. Also at the Getty, she was Research Associate at the Research Institute, creating and implementing a multiyear investigation of the connections between art making and civic participation.
Military and Veterans Arts Initiative Field Specialist, ational Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, Americans for the Arts
Arts & Health in the Military (NIAHM) at Americans for the Arts. She began her work in the DC offices as an AmeriCorps VISTA member from 2014-15, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary’s Call to Service Corps. Through the National Initiative, Susan continues working with military, medical, and arts sectors to advance the arts in the health and well-being of our active duty service members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers, across the military continuum, from deployment to reentry and reintegration. Susan believes that accessibility to the arts is key to building resilience and healing the mental, physical, and moral wounds of war.
Susan is a “military brat,” former Art teacher, certified Memories in the Making facilitator with the Alzheimer’s Association, and a member of the board of Arts For Health Florida. She is currently working from the Northeast Florida region.
Community Connections: Models for Building a Shared Vision for Arts and Culture
Monday, October 24, 2016
Nasher Sculpture Center
Moderated by Zannie Giraud Voss, Southern Methodist University
D. David Brown
General Manager, Cultural Access Washington
D. David Brown joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as Executive Director in May of 2000. Mr. Brown’s career in ballet began more than 30 years ago as a dancer in the corps of Boston Ballet. Moving quickly through the ranks of the company to principal, he danced many roles including several ballets premiered at Boston Ballet. In 1981, upon retiring from active performing, he moved to Director of Production and then served in the role of General Manager from 1983-1998. He was most recently its Executive Director until June 1999, when he left to pursue arts consulting.
Upon his arrival at PNB, Mr. Brown quickly set about strengthening the administrative staff, guiding PNB’s strategic plan implementation and refining the financial management and budget processes. While forging a strong working partnership with new Artistic Director Peter Boal, Mr. Brown continued to strengthen the organization and better prepare it to support its artistic vision. His background provides the unique perspective of both artist and manager, and his experienced leadership quickly became one of PNB’s greatest assets. Mr. Brown retired from PNB in June of 2014.
Having served as Interim Executive Director for Cultural Access Washington, a non-profit whose mission is to ensure sustainable public support for Cultural, Scientific, and Heritage organizations throughout the state, he currently serves as its General Manager. Mr. Brown currently serves as the Chairman of Culture PAC, a non-partisan political action committee that supports issues of importance to the cultural community in Washington State.
Mr. Brown has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance and is a past chair of the Dance/USA Manager’s Council. He has also served as a Trustee of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Retirement Plan & Health Fund in New York, NY as well as a Trustee of the Theatrical Stage Employee’s Local 15 Health & Welfare Trust in Seattle. He is a past President of the Washington State Arts Alliance and a past member of the Washington State Arts Commission.
Executive Director, Alternate ROOTS
Carlton Turner is the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a regional non-profit arts organization based in the south supporting artists working at the intersection of arts and social justice. He is co-founder and co-artistic director, along with his brother Maurice Turner, of the group M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction). M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a Mississippi-based performing arts group that blends of jazz, hip-hop, spoken word poetry and soul music together with non-traditional storytelling.
Carlton is currently on the board of Appalshop, First People’s Fund, Imagining America, and an advisory member to the National Theater Project at New England Foundation for the Arts. Carlton is a member of the We Shall Overcome Fund Advisory Committee at the Highlander Center for Research and Education, a steering committee member of the Arts x Culture x Social Justice Network, and former Network of Ensemble Theaters steering committee member.
In 2011, Carlton was awarded the M. Edgar Rosenblum award for outstanding contribution to Ensemble Theater by Irondale Ensemble Project in Brooklyn, NY. In 2013, Carlton was named to the Kennedy Center Honors Artist Advisory Board alongside Debbie Allen, Maria De Leon, and Ping Chong. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a recipient of the 2015 Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre recipient.
Karen Brooks Hopkins
President Emerita, Brooklyn Academy of Music
Senior Fellow, Mellon Foundation
Nasher Haemisegger Fellow, National Center for Arts Research
New York, NY
Karen Brooks Hopkins served as President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music from 1999 until her retirement in 2015, and was an employee of the institution since 1979. Hopkins served as the chair of the Cultural Institutions Group from 2002-2004, a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and, most recently, on Mayor de Blasio’s transition committee. In 2013, Crain’s named her one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York,” and in 2014 she was one of ten selected into its inaugural “New York Business Hall of Fame.” Hopkins serves on the boards of the Jerome L. Greene and Alexander Onassis Foundations, and is currently Senior Fellow in Residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Fellow of the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University.
Co-Artistic Director, ArtsEmerson
Director and Co-Founder, HowlRound
P. Carl is the the Director and co-founder of HowlRound—a think tank and knowledge commons actively making community among theatremakers worldwide through online resource sharing and in-person gatherings. Carl is also the co-artistic director of ArtsEmerson at Emerson College where he develops, dramaturgs, and presents an eclectic array of theatre from diverse artists from around the globe. Operating from the core belief that theatre is for everyone, Carl seeks to use the power of live performance in concert with opportunities for international dialogue and activism to foster personal and political transformation through the shared experience of art. Carl is a Distinguished Artist in Residence on the Emerson faculty, and a frequent writer and speaker on the evolution of theater practice and theory. He is the former Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the former Director of Artistic Development at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and holds a PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota.