Lawrence R. Barnett, Jr. (Los Angeles, CA)

Lawrence R. Barnett, Jr. is a partner in the law firm of Gipson Hoffman & Pancione in Los Angeles, California.  In his legal practice, Mr. Barnett represents diverse domestic and international private and public companies, as well as individual entrepreneurs in the full range of corporate, securities, entertainment and business matters. 

Mr. Barnett graduated from University of Southern California with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration and from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts.  Mr. Barnett also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The ALS Association, the national organization dedicated to the fight to treat and cure ALS.

Born in New York City and currently residing in Pacific Palisades, California, Mr. Barnett and his wife, Karrie, have four children.

Liora Bresler, Ph.D. (Urbana, Illinois)
Professor, University of Illinois, Champaign

Liora Bresler is a Professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign. She is also the Hedda Anderson Chair in Lund University, Sweden (Visiting); a Professor II at Stord/Haugesund University College, Norway; and an Honorary Professor in the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Other positions include distinguished visiting professorships at Stockholm University, Sweden, (2009-2011) and at the University of Haifa, Israel (1994/5). Bresler has published 120+ papers and book chapters and has written and edited several books on the arts in education, including the International Handbook of Research in Arts Education (Springer, 2007), Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds (Kluwer, 2004); the co-authored Custom and cherishing (1992); and the co-edited International Handbook of Creative Learning (Routeledge, 2011); and The International Handbook of the Arts in Education (Routeledge, in press/2014). Bresler has given keynote speeches, invited talks, seminars and short courses in thirty some countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas. Her work has been translated to German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Finnish, Korean, and Chinese.

Bresler is the editor of the book series “Landscapes: Aesthetics, the arts and education” (Springer) and is the co-founder and former editor of the International Journal of Education and the Arts (1999-). Teaching awards at the University of Illinois include the Distinguished Teaching Life-Long Career Award at the College of Education (2004), and the University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2005). Other awards include Distinguished Fellow in the National Art Education Association (2010), the Distinguished Senior Scholar Award of the College of Education, University of Illinois (2014), the Edwin Ziegfeld Award for distinguished international leadership in art education by the United States Society for Education Through Art (2007), and The Lin Wright Special Recognition Award by The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (2007).

Jane Chu, Ph.D. (Washington, DC)
Chair, National Endowment for the Arts

Jane Chu has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2014 as the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since 2006, Chu served as the president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, overseeing a $413-million campaign to build the center. As the performance home of the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kauffman Center has hosted more than one million people from all 50 states and countries throughout the world since its grand opening in September 2011.

She was a fund executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City from 2004 to 2006, and vice president of external relations for Union Station Kansas City from 2002 to 2004. Previously, she was vice president of community investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation from 1997 to 2002. Chu also served as a trustee at William Jewell College and on the board of directors of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. 

Chu was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, but was raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She studied music growing up, eventually receiving bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music education from Ouachita Baptist University and master’s degrees in music and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. Additionally, Chu holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and a PhD in philanthropic studies from Indiana University, as well as an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. 

Katie Garber (Cincinnati, Ohio)
ArtWorks Director of Creative Enterprise

Katie Garber grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and majored in Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati. During her senior year of college, she started developing a vintage clothing shop called Atomic Number Ten, which she opened in September of 2009. The shop was located in the historic neighborhood of Over-the Rhine and was operational through January 2014. During this time, Katie also became president of the Merchants of Main Street business association and ran Second Sundays on Main, a neighborhood street festival.

She decided to close her shop in early 2014 to reflect her changing goal of helping other’s follow their creative passions and open their own business’s. In February of 2014 she joined ArtWorks as the Director of Creative Enterprise and continues to work with creatives starting their own businesses, small business owners and youth interested in design and entrepreneurship. She continues to work as a freelance graphic designer and jewelry designer in her free time. 

Rick Gore (Columbus, Ohio)
Writer, Executive Producer, Short North Stage

Rick Gore, a native of Florida, was a writer with National Geographic Magazine for more than 25 years, before focusing full time on theater. While at National Geographic he produced more than 60 feature articles, serving much of his career there as Science Editor. His articles ranged from features on space exploration, the universe, global geology, dinosaurs, mammalian and human evolution, ancient Egypt to contemporary pieces on Broadway, Sunset Boulevard and the city of Istanbul. Before joining the National Geographic staff he worked with the original Life and Newsweek Magazines. In recent years he has co-written and produced several musicals, including Nefertiti,The Gloaming, and Let There Be Balloons. He is a member of the Lovewell Theater Project, which is dedicated to the origination of new musicals. He served on the board of the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company of Washington DC for six years, as well as the North American Company and the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts. He attended Northwestern University, earning a Masters of Journalism degree. He was a founder of Short North Stage and has served as Executive Producer since 2011, overseeing all season shows, includling Follies, Cabaret, Sunday in the Park with George, Tommy, Passing Strange, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Barbara R. Nicholson, Ph.D. (Columbus, Ohio)
Director Emeritus, Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex

Barbara R. Nicholson served as Director Emeritus of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio following her tenure as Executive Director for 18 years. She is a County Commissioner appointee to the board of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and serves as an officer of the Board. In addition, Barbara served as the Board representative for the art selection and installation in the new Hilton. Barbara is a Mayoral appointee to the Columbus Public Art Commission. Active in the community, Barbara chairs the King-Lincoln District Council of Elders and is a member of the Foundation for the African Diaspora board.

Barbara has received numerous awards and honors and in 2011, the King Arts Complex named the multipurpose auditorium the Barbara R. Nicholson Auditorium in her honor. Her professional background includes a variety of leadership and arts management positions ranging from serving as an educator at Oberlin middle school; at the University of South Carolina at Columbia and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. As a cabinet member in the District of Columbia, she served as the Mayor’s Advisor for Cultural Affairs and Executive Director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities. Barbara served as a past member of the First Circle Advisory Board of the National Association of American Cultures, of which she was a Founder and chief architect in the establishment of the organization.

Past consultancies include: the Advanced Placement Panel for the College Board; the Arts Panel of the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey; service on the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts; as a site evaluator for both the Eli Lily Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; and, as a keynote speaker for several groups of Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Dr. Nicholson completed a B.F.A. degree at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, a Master of Arts degree at Columbia Teachers’ College in New York City and a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Ohio State University. Barbara has continued to work as a practicing artist throughout her administrative careers and has operated her own business, Champagne & Grits Studio and Galleria, for 25 years. 

Thomas B. Schorgl (Cleveland, Ohio)
President and CEO, Community Partnership for Arts & Culture

Tom Schorgl is president and CEO of the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture (CPAC), Cleveland, OH. CPAC is a nonprofit arts and culture service organization with core skills in public policy, business development, and research. CPAC’s work in public policy led to a 2006 dedicated arts and culture local option tax generating $15M annually.

CPAC provides business training and support to individual artists. Its Creative Workforce Fellowship program annually awards twenty (20) $20,000 individual artist fellowships in all disciplines. CPAC’s business diagnostic services are aimed at nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. As an example, the Collaborative Marketing Database cultivates cultural buyers while reducing organizations’ marketing costs.

CPAC’s research efforts are devoted to a better understanding of the arts and culture sector’s multiple values. This includes economic, community development, health and human services studies. Remix Cleveland, a 2012 economic impact study, examines greater Cleveland’s for profit and nonprofit music industry. The second such study focused on the craft, design and visual arts cluster will be released in August 2014. CPAC completed a three-year artist housing and neighborhood project Artists in Residence in 2013. It was designed to evaluate best practices that attract and integrate artists into urban neighborhoods. CPAC’s 2014 white paper, Creative Minds in Medicine, explores collaborations of arts, health and human service assets.

Prior to launching CPAC in 1997, Schorgl was president Culture Works, Dayton, OH. He led the Indiana Arts Commission as executive director for a decade beginning in August 1983. His professional arts administration career started as curator and then executive director of South Bend Regional Art Museum. Schorgl holds master degrees from the University of Iowa and Miami University in Ohio. Schorgl’s board of trustee service includes the Ohio Arts Council.

Betty L. Talbott (Columbus, Ohio)
Ohio Designer Craftsmen Executive Director
Ohio Craft Museum Director

Betty Talbott has played a significant role in the fine craft and traditional arts fields in central Ohio for more than 30 years. Talbott is the director of the Ohio Craft Museum and executive director of Ohio Designer Craftsmen. She has served on numerous grant panels, and juried or curated more than 100 exhibitions and festivals in the United States and internationally, including the “Land of Latitudes” exhibition of work by contemporary Chilean artists at the Riffe Gallery, Columbus, and an exhibition of ceramics by potters working at El Bodegon Cultural Center in Los Vilos, Chile. In addition, she has served as cultural envoy for the United States Embassy in Macedonia.

As Ohio Designer Craftsmen’s Board President in the early ’90s, Talbott established the museum’s children’s educational programming, which has expanded to include adult and teen programming. She was named executive director of ODC in the mid ’90s, reorganizing the structure of the organization. Currently, she oversees four fine craft fairs throughout the state of Ohio, including Columbus Winterfair, the largest fine craft fair in Ohio, and curates or organizes six exhibitions each year for the Ohio Craft Museum. In addition, she oversees Functional Ceramics Workshop, a long-running event that draws artists from across the region to Wooster, Ohio, and curates the accompanying Functional Ceramics Exhibition.

Her previous experience as a working ceramics artist has provided Talbott with a first-hand perspective on entrepreneurship and marketing, which she has applied to her vision for the organization.

Peter D. Yockel (Columbus, Ohio)
Board President/Executive Director at Short North Stage

Peter Yockel is an educator who trained thousands of Peace Corps volunteers and staff during a career spanning twenty five years. Since 2010 he has served as the Board President and Executive Director of Short North Stage, a professional theatre company in Columbus, Ohio an effort that also entails the rebirth of the Garden Theater as a performance venue. A graduate of Miami and American Universities, Peter holds a Masters Degree in International Development. He has co-authored a collection of oral history interviews, several musicals and been the lead producer of many theatrical works. He is a board member of the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts, an arts education program for teens, which conducted its first workshop in central Ohio in June of 2014. Seeing many parallels between developing training modules and arts programming, Peter’s primary focus is currently the symbiosis between arts management and economic and social development. In four years Short North Stage has grown from an annual budget of $4,000 to over half a million. SNS is a member of Theatre Roundtable, the Short North Alliance, Experience Columbus and the Columbus Arts Marketing Association (CAMA). SNS has received awards from the Central Ohio Theater Critics Circle, the Columbus Landmarks Foundation and the Short North Business Association. Short North Stage has produced seven regional premiers, one world premier and sponsored the writing of an original musical. By forging unique partnerships with community, business and artistic leaders, Short North Stage produced over fifty weeks of programming in each of the past three years spurring economic and social development in the Short North and the surrounding neighborhoods.