Closing Plenary Panel – Promoting the Arts to Full Partner: A Discussion About Deep Arts Integration on Campus from Various Leadership Perspectives

Saturday, November 3, 2018, 4:00-5:30pm, Mahler Hall

We know how to raise money for gleaming new arts buildings that shine a spotlight on the arts on campus. We also know how to create world-class degree programs in the arts, and even how to foster research collaborations between artists and other kinds of researchers. But we often struggle to envision and implement a more holistic, campus-wide strategy for the arts and creativity at our universities. The arts are still viewed by many administrators, faculty members, and students as optional, even ornamental to the mission of research, teaching, and learning. Join us for a lively conversation with leaders who are working to embed the arts more deeply in their institutions. What are the principles of successful arts planning at a university? What stands in the way, and who needs to be at the table in order to fully harness the power of the arts across the campus?


Emil J. Kang serves as Executive and Artistic Director of Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University’s performing arts program he founded in 2005. Kang also serves Professor of the Practice in the Department of Music and teaches courses in music, arts leadership, artistic entrepreneurship, and the creative process.

In 2016 UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt appointed Kang as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts where he sits on the Chancellor’s leadership team and directs all campus-wide arts initiatives on the Chancellor’s behalf. In 2017, Kang launched Arts Everywhere, a major initiative dedicated to integrating artistic practice, learning, and engagement in the lives of the entire community.

From 1999 to 2004 Kang served as President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Kang has also held positions with the Seattle Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, and served as an Orchestra Management Fellow with the League of American Orchestras.

In 2012, then U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Kang to the National Council on the Arts. His appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate. Kang currently serves on the boards of directors of the Martha Graham Dance Company and the International Society for the Performing Arts. He also serves on the inaugural selection committee for the Institute of International Education’s Artist Protection Fund and serves as a program consultant for Creative Capital.

Kang has been a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management program at Harvard Business School. Born in New York City, and trained in violin studies from a young age, he holds a degree in Economics from the University of Rochester in New York.


Peter Linett is chairman & chief idea officer of Slover Linett Audience Research, a social research firm for the cultural sector. He and his colleagues help arts organizations, museums of all types, science communicators, and cultural funders and agencies understand their communities, evaluate their impact, and experiment with new strategies for engagement. Linett has worked with Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Goodman Theatre, Folk Alliance International, Chicago Public Radio, the National Academy of Sciences, Cornell University, the MacArthur Foundation, and the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, among many other cultural and community innovators. He serves on the editorial board of Curator, the museum field’s leading peer-reviewed journal, and was previously the journal’s associate editor for theory and practice. He co-organized the Evolving Culture of Science Engagement initiative, which began in 2013 with a convening of game-changing science communicators at MIT. Linett was an associate of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago from 2008 to 2014, and has spoken at conferences and symposia in the US and UK. He serves on the advisory board of Guerilla Science. Linett lives in Santa Fe and Chicago.


Invested as the first Marilyn Stokstad Director of the Spencer Museum of Art, Saralyn Reece Hardy has led the only comprehensive art museum in Kansas since 2005. Prior to her arrival at the Spencer, Reece Hardy served as director of Museums and Visual Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and as director of the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kansas. Reece Hardy led the Spencer Museum’s Phase I multi-year renovation project, which transformed the Museum’s galleries; introduced a multi-use object study room; and expanded teaching, research, and storage facilities. Her recent projects include the Integrated Arts Research Initiative, an interdisciplinary effort funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Art in the Grove, an initiative to enliven the historic green space on KU’s Lawrence campus with art; leading the University of Kansas Art on Campus Committee on the Lawrence campus; and facilitating ongoing commissions with the University of Kansas campus partners in Kansas City, Lawrence, and Salina. She participates in the development of the International Artist-in-Residence program and is conducting interviews about aging and legacy with artists represented in the Museum’s permanent collection which are 70 years old or older. Reece Hardy has led the Spencer Museum in two integral partnerships: one with the Kansas City–based Charlotte Street Foundation on the Rocket Grants program, funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and one with the KU Biodiversity Institute and the KU Hall Center for the Humanities to form The Commons, a physical and intellectual space for interdisciplinary exploration.


Garth Ross is the inaugural executive director of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University. Prior to his work at Yale, Ross served as vice president of community engagement at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has over 20 years’ experience developing and executing strategies for enlarging constituencies and increasing participation in the arts. Through this work, he has produced over 7,000 performances in a wide range of genres, featuring artists from all 50 states and around the world.

Ross established The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage daily free performance series, as well as many other notable projects and festivals including Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America, Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America, American Voices with Renée Fleming, One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide and Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media. With a focus on cultivating unique collaborations between organizations, artists, communities and disciplines, his work illuminates the possibility of compatibility between different cultural viewpoints by including diverse stakeholders in the process of cultural production.

His chapter entitled, “From Fight club to The Kennedy Center: How We Learned to Cross Invisible Bridges,” was published in the book Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change (2017 Emerald Publishing Limited). Ross received his BA in English Literature and Music from Connecticut College and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.