Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Elects Board Officers and Members
Baltimore, MD - June 19, 2012 - Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) elected officers for its fiscal year 2013 at a board meeting in Baltimore on May 18, 2012. Steven D. Spiess was elected to his first term as Chair, Carol Ann Herbert was elected to her first term as Vice Chair, E. Scott Johnson was elected to his second term as Secretary, and Philip Li was elected to his first term as Treasurer.
Steven D. Spiess is the executive director of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, a leading New York law firm and the second oldest law firm in the United States. He joined Cravath in 1992 as tax manager and has since then held various positions of increasing authority, including director of finance and director of administration. He was named executive director in 2002. He is a founding board member of Americans for the Arts and is the Immediate Past Chair of the Board. He has served previously as treasurer of Americans for the Arts, and today he sits today on many committees. He is the vice chair of Americans for the Arts Action Fund and past chair of the Arts & Business Council of New York. Spiess served as a board member and treasurer of the American Council on the Arts (ACA) and was a member of the team responsible for the merger of ACA and the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies.
Carol Ann Herbert was appointed to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in 2003 and elected Chair in 2004, a position she held until 2009. As a Council member Herbert has served on various committees and currently chairs the Planning Committee and the Arts Plan NJ Advisory Committee. With a long history of arts advocacy and community engagement, Herbert has served on the boards of the NJ Performing Arts Center, NJ Heritage Tourism Task Force and David B. Crabiel Scholarship Foundation, of which she is a founder and past Board President. She currently sits on the boards of the George Street Playhouse, NJ Theatre Alliance, New Brunswick Cultural Center and Young Audiences NJ. Herbert is a former board member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and now serves as the NJ liaison. She was acknowledged by the NJ General Assembly in 2008 with a formal resolution for her national and statewide service, and is a recipient of the Lillian Levy Standing Ovation award and Governor Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy award for her significant contributions to the arts in New Jersey. Herbert has served on the board of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation since 2004.
E. Scott Johnson is Chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Ober/Kaler. He has a diverse practice that includes licensing, trademark, copyright, technology, Internet, entertainment, arts, and media law matters. Johnson is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in two categories: Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law and was selected for Maryland Super Lawyers, 2008. His work in the entertainment and media fields includes the preparation and negotiation of film and television production agreements, recording contracts, personal management agreements, music publishing agreements, book publishing contracts, public art commissions and rights clearance, fair use and new media issues. Johnson served on the board of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation from 1997-2007 and was Chair of the board from 2003-2006. He is the immediate past Chair of the Maryland State Arts Council. Johnson has served on the boards of CityLit Project (Chair), Creative Alliance, Maryland Film Industry Coalition (Chair), Maryland Lawyers for the Arts (President), Washington Area Music Association, and Young Audiences of Maryland (President). He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Philip Li is Chief Administrative Officer at The Century Foundation. Previously, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, and as a Senior Managing Director at Changing Our World, a philanthropic services consulting firm, and as the Executive Director of the Coro New York Leadership Center. Prior to moving to the nonprofit sector, he worked on Wall Street beginning his career at Merrill Lynch and finishing up at Moody's Investors Services. Li is currently a board member of Philanthropy New York (Executive Committee) and the Bulova Stetson Fund (Treasurer). Previous board memberships have included Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (Treasurer), Comprehensive Development, and Directions for Our Youth. He received his MBA in Finance and Strategic Planning from The Wharton School and has a BA in Biology and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to the election of officers, the board elected three new members - Laura L. Aswad, Christopher B. Cowan, and Charlene "Suny" Monk - and approved additional terms for current board members Vijay Iyer, Dorothy Pierce McSweeny and Lavinia A. Wohlfarth.
Laura L. Aswad is the Executive Director of Real Arts and Culture, a New York based company specializing in the performing and visual arts and a board member of the New York State Council on the Arts. As a freelance producer, she has produced operas for the Handel and Hayden Society of Boston: Dido and Aeneas and Orfeo directed by Chen Shi-Zheng; Laurie Anderson's multimedia project for the World Expo in Japan; Jon Gibson's multimedia opera, Violet Fire; and numerous other projects for Pomegranate Arts, Inc. involving Philip Glass. Previously, she was producer of the Lincoln Center Festival, the international summer performing arts festival, where she produced numerous productions in all genres of the performing arts. She was the Company Manager for composer/multidisciplinary artist Meredith Monk from 1993-1995. Ms. Aswad has also served as associate producer of Lincoln Center's Serious Fun! Festival, as the tour manager for numerous international and domestic productions, and as the senior associate at International Production Associates where she coordinated domestic and international tours for such artists as Sankai Juku and Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Christopher B. Cowan is Director of International Project Finance at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) where he is responsible for originating, structuring and executing loans to projects in several business sectors in the emerging markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He is on the Board of Directors of: The Washington Ballet; The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Holy Cross Hospital; and since 2008, he has served on the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities. He is a member of the Leadership Greater Washington class of 2010. Chris is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Wharton School of Business.
Vijay Iyer is a pianist, composer, band leader, producer, and writer. He earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University and a Masters Degree in physics and a Ph.D. in technology and the arts from the University of California, Berkley. He received the 2003 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts and a 2006 fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts. Howard Reich wrote in the Chicago Tribune that "there can be no doubt that pianist-composer Iyer stands among the most daringly original jazz artists of the under-40 generation." He is on the faculty of New York University, The New School, and the School for Improvisational Music. Iyer was named 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. The Vijay Iyer Trio was named "Best International Ensemble" by the Echo Jazz Awards, Germany's equivalent of the Grammys. His 2009 album Historicity was named "Best Jazz Album of the Year" by Downbeat Magazine's International Critics Poll, the New York Times, 2009 Village Voice Jazz Awards, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Times. His recently released Accelerando (March 2012) is his sixteenth album and is receiving critical acclaim. Iyer also serves on the board of directors of Chamber Music America.
Dorothy Pierce McSweeny just completed three years of service as Chair of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's Board of Directors. She first began serving on the Mid Atlantic Board in 1999 when she was appointed Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She held that position until 2007 when she was named Chair Emeritus. A Brown University graduate, McSweeny served in Vietnam as an officer with A.I.D. and returned from that post to the White House to become the Oral Historian for President Lyndon B. Johnson. She later served as Special Assistant to the Speaker of the House John W. McCormack. In 1995 she was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washington Magazine and was elected to the DC Hall of Fame in 2011. McSweeny currently serves on the boards of the Washington Ballet, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative Board, and Americans for the Arts, and she is a member of the National Council for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. She has been active with or served as a trustee for numerous other organizations including The Kennedy Center, The Democratic National Leadership Committee, Very Special Arts, The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, The National Council of Negro Women, The EnvironMentors, Washington Episcopal School, the Ronald H. Brown Foundation, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center, Boston University School of Medicine, and the Lombardi Cancer Research Center. She was a member of the National Race for the Cure Founding Committee and Chairman of Victory Team.
Charlene "Suny" Monk recently retired as Executive Director of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), a position she had held since 1997. Under her leadership, VCCA established and developed its international studio center in Southwest France, Le Moulin á Nef. VCCA is among the nation's largest artist residency programs, and its international exchange program is the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States. Ms. Monk is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of New Vistas School and immediate Past President of Virginians for the Arts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Virginians for the Arts Foundation and the Advisory Board of Endstation Theatre Company. She has served on the Boards of The Alliance of Artist Communities, Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, and the Academy of Fine Arts (Lynchburg). In 2006, Monk was named Woman of the Year in the Arts by the YWCA Academy of Women of Central Virginia. From 1982 until 1996, she was the Head of Aylett Country Day School in Miller's Tavern, Virginia. She is a partner at Oxide Pottery, a fine craft gallery in Lynchburg.
Lavinia R. Wohlfarth, a fifth generation Washingtonian, is the owner of Wohlfarth Galleries of Washington, DC and Provincetown, MA. Wohlfarth is an American impressionist gallery of fine paintings and drawings representing the painters of the Cape Cod School of art in the tradition of Charles Hawthorne and Henry Hensche. She is the Vice Chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. In 1999 Wohlfarth founded The Brookland Community Development Corporation in her Northeast Washington neighborhood to focus on history, the arts and revitalization of the commercial district in her community. She is the Chair of the Brookland Main Street Program. In 2004 she was appointed by then Mayor Anthony Williams to sit on the task force: "Growing and Inclusive City-A Comprehensive Plan for Washington, DC." She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America and McGill University, Montreal Canada.
About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists' capacity to create and present work, advance access to and participation in the arts, and promote a more sustainable arts ecology. For more information on the Foundation's programs and services, please visit: www.midatlanticarts.org