jakub | May 29, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Devos Institute Arts Management Fellows Announced


Shaza Ishak, Claudia de Vasco.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland have announced a new cohort of seven arts managers who will participate in its three-year fellowship program, which is designed to serve entrepreneurial executives in the arts and cultural sector. The new cohort joins a previous cohort of five arts leaders, who are returning for their second year in the program.

The new cohort includes Alison Nadebaum, director of people & culture for the Tasmanian Symphony in Australia; Andrew Given, director of development for London’s English National Opera; Bohenza Pelenska, executive and artistic director of Jam Factory Art Center in Lviv, Ukraine; Cody Chen, general manager of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet; and Rolando Sanz, CEO and producing artistic director of Young Artists of America in Bethesda, Md.

Also among the cohort are two theatre administrators: Claudia de Vasco, most recently executive artistic director of the Public Theater of San Antonio, Texas, and Shaza Ishak, executive and artistic director of Singapore’s Teater Ekamatra. De Vasco resigned from the Public Theater of San Antonio after just two years in the post; prior to that role, she launched the Department of Cultural Integrity at Los Angeles’s BrickHouse as an effort to legitimize and advocate for cultural workers in the Arts. For her part, Ishak graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (U.K.) with an M.A. in creative producing, and is a fellow of the Singapore International Foundation’s Arts for Good Fellowship; the International Society for the Performing Arts (USA); and the Eisenhower Fellowship (USA), the youngest fellow in its 68-year history. In November 2021, she was conferred the inaugural Tunas Warisan (Special Mention Award) by the President of Singapore, Mdm Halimah Yaacob, in acknowledgment of her work in the Arts and Heritage sector.

Led by institute founder Michael M. Kaiser and president Brett Egan, the fellowship emphasizes critical organizational capacities in long-term artistic planning, marketing, fundraising, board development, and financial management, while provoking broader questions of mission, relevance, impact, and the role of art—and the dialogue it provokes—as an instrument of peace.

To date, the institute’s fellowship program has served over 250 arts managers from over 50 countries. Chairman Michael M. Kaiser launched the program in 2001 during his tenure as president of the Kennedy Center.

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