Speech Will Shed Light on How the Arts Sector Can Leverage Its Greatest Assets—Creativity, Collaboration, Curiosity—to Thrive in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

press releaseContact:
Catherine Brandt
202-712-2054
cbrandt@artsusa.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, today announced that Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will deliver the closing keynote address at the 2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, the largest gathering in the nation of arts leaders and their partners in creative business, education and government. In his remarks, Mr. Cameron will discuss how the arts community can use creativity, collaboration and curiosity to propel the arts industry to new heights.

As Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Mr. Cameron supervises a $13 million grants program focusing on organizations and artists in the theatre, contemporary dance, jazz and presenting fields. Previously, he served for more than 8 years as the Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, where significantly expanded the organizations programs, membership base and grantmaking activities. Prior roles include his work as Senior Program Officer at the Dayton Hudson Foundation, Manager of Community Relations for Target Stores (supervising its grantmaking program) and four years at the National Endowment for the Arts, including two as Director of the Theater Program.

In addition to his not for profit work, he has lectured on theatre aboard both the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 as an Oxford Lecturer on four separate cruises, has appeared during 13 different seasons as a panelist on the opera quiz feature on the Live from the Metropolitan radio broadcasts from New York and served as a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee.

“Mr. Cameron has been an incredible champion for the arts,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “He has established strong relationships with artists and arts organizations to understand the needs and challenges that the arts sector faces in this ever-changing cultural and economic landscape. As such, I can’t think of a better person to close our 2011 Annual Convention.”

“The Americans for the Arts Annual Convention is the nation’s premier event for arts advocates, bringing together passionate, articulate and ravenously curious arts leaders.  I am deeply honored and more than a little intimidated to be asked to speak to them and eagerly look forward to our time together,” said Cameron.

“We join Mr. Cameron's enthusiasm and applaud his ability to inspire a passion for art," said April Game, Executive Director of the San Diego Fine Arts Society. "We believe in artistic imagination and visions of greatness and know that Mr. Cameron will inspire us all to reach beyond the limits of perceived abilities.”

The local host for the 2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention is the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. Lead sponsorship of the convention was provided by the San Diego Fine Arts Society with generous additional support from the Legler Benbough Foundation, Bank of America, the National Endowment of the Arts, American Express, The San Diego Foundation, Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego, US Bank, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Westreich Foundation, The Parker Foundation, and the Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust.  Additional supporters include the California Arts Council; University of California, San Diego; Alexander Salazar Fine Art; WESTAF; the University of Oregon Arts and Administration Program; and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.