Festivals transport us to a place that revels in the extraordinary. Their vibrant atmosphere invites us to absorb new ideas, dabble beyond our regular taste, delight our senses in experimental ways. As they celebrate a community, city, or style, they exude a spirit of cohesion that binds us together, as we buzz with the energy of being part of something larger than ourselves. They uniquely offer a fertile ground for artists to collaborate, letting us bear witness to things that have never happened before and may never happen again. Artists and audiences connect. The fleeting, temporary nature makes us wish for more. Done right, festivals captivate an audience so powerfully, they move us to feel differently about our world, perhaps changing the course of our lives ever-so-slightly, and making us want to attend again and again.
Bringing this experience to life takes grit, hard work, and comprehensive organization. The right team, careful planning, top-notch vendors, streamlined communication, partners that work together, and leadership that keeps all the pieces moving the right direction, is just the beginning of the equation. A well-executed, smooth operation is one of the greatest joys to watch unfold.
With 15 years in the field, I have spent seasons with the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, an event that draws 500,000 people annually, the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Washington D.C., where I helped plan and produce folk and traditional music festivals around the country, including the flagship National Folk Festival, as well as the prestigious Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Spoleto Festival USA, Mill Valley Film Festival, and the Utah Arts Festival. I graduated University of Michigan and Indiana University, M.A. Arts Administration, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, where I broaden my scope to an academic understanding of the policy, funding, and management of non-profits arts organizations, and the relationship they have to economic growth.
It has been my privilege to work with the below institutions. They are among the finest presenters and producers of visual art, film, dance, music, and opera today.