Arts Management 2006-2007 Fellows
Cynthia Benefield comes to the Kennedy Center from Atlanta, Georgia. She was the recipient of a stabilization grant from the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund sponsorship for the position of Managing Director at Ballethnic Dance Company, Inc. There she was responsible for board reporting, grant writing, corporate relations, marketing, human resources, employee training, coordination of volunteers and day-to-day operations. In addition, she was part of the strategic planning team along with the board and directors identifying opportunities and threats in operations. Cynthia has mentored and worked very closely with performing arts students from Hong Kong Baptist University, Brenau University and high school interns selected by Hands on Atlanta. (Funded by the Arthur Blank Foundation). Also, Cynthia has served as grant panelist reviewer for the Georgia Council of the Arts and the Atlanta Housing Authority. Cynthia is a graduate of Paine College with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration. She also attended Oglethorpe University Executive Master of Business Administration program.
Born and bred in Portsmouth, England, Roanna moved to London in 1999 to join the administration team of the Philharmonia. Roanna has been involved in every aspect of the Orchestra's work, as Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, Concerts & Tours Administrator and, since 2003, as Concerts Director. In her most recent role, Roanna was a senior member of the management team and responsible for the strategic planning of the Philharmonia Orchestra's residency programmes across the UK. The role involved creating, developing, and maintaining relationships with key partner venues and all major promoters and festivals, linking them with artists and repertoire and financial aspects of all engagements. She was also responsible for all recording, film, and broadcast work of the Orchestra, including the development of the new media strategy. Prior to the Philharmonia, Roanna worked in publishing and graduated from King's College, Cambridge with a BA Honors in Music. A violinist, Roanna performs regularly with a number of London's principal amateur ensembles. She has also worked for Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Marketing Manager and is currently Concerts Director for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Martin Cikanek (Prague, Czech Republic) has been involved in the Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD project since 2007. He launched the Met's groundbreaking series of live, high-definition simulcasts to movie theaters in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia; and he also operates in Poland. From one art house cinema venue based in Prague that joined Met: Live in HD back in December 2007, he has since created a network of movie theatres that currently counts approximately 50 venues; and achieves annual attendance of 100 000. Martin is also the head of the Czech Cultural and Creative Industries Mapping - a five year research project funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. This mapping constitutes a total budget close to EUR 1 million. Martin has also written a book Creative Industries/Towards the New Economy. First published in 2009, it has become a pivotal book in the curricula of the majority of arts management courses at universities in the Czech Republic. The second edition of Martin's book will be published later this spring. He also edited the Czech translation of Michael Kaiser's book on strategic planning and wrote an afterword. Martin has also had the privilege to work as an advisor for the Ministerial Conference Forum for Creative Europe 2009 - the major event of the European Year of Creativity and Innovations; as well as the seminal event of the Czech presidency of EU. He teaches creative industries at the University of Economics, Prague. He received an M.A. in arts management from the City University London. He is an active piano and keyboard player with experience in many musical genres including jazz, fusion, salsa, and reggae. An album of his current band, Poetic Filharmony, was released in June 2011. In August 2011, he performed with colleague Cassandra Weston - a peer from the 2007 DeVos Institute Fellowship class - in an avant-garde cabaret show "Tender Buttons" in Leipzig, Germany.
Chae Lian Diong
Chae Lian is co-founder of Gardner & Wife Theatre, Malaysia's leading arts presenter for international & family performances. As a producer, she sources and negotiates with artists and managers worldwide, manages local staffing and oversees ticket sales. Her passion foraudience development, media relations and marketing also prompted her to create her country's first arts service organization, The Applause Society of Kuala Lumpur, which currently provides an affordable box office solution and accessibility services for disabled audiences. She is an honors graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in drama.
A native of Washington, D.C., Kimberly comes to the Kennedy Center from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was Development Associate for the Philadelphia Dance Company also known as PHILADANCO. There, she was responsible for researching corporate and foundation prospects, devising and maintaining development database, grant proposal preparation, and generating departmental reports. While serving as Arts Management Intern for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Kimberly worked directly with Dance Program Director in the evaluating and processing of Pennsylvania grant applications. She further consulted local arts organizations in developing strategies and efforts to improve donor research and acquisition. Kimberly later joined The Mann Center for the Performing Arts where she supported the department with individual giving, corporate sponsorships and special fundraising events. She serves as Co-director of Ordered Steps, a community outreach service for dance established by the Nazareth Baptist Church. A skilled dancer who has taught at the high school and university level, Kimberly holds a degree in Dance Education from the University of the Arts.
Shoaib Iqbal started his work with Punjab Lok Rahs as Project's Coordinator where he covered multiple roles for near a decade including theatre director, workshop trainer, youth performance facilitator and interdisciplinary community artist. He developed and taught first "Theater in Education" course in Pakistan at Ali Institute of Education, Lahore. Among various arts projects he has created over the years, one of the most important is Lahore International Children's Film Festival, the first and largest children's film festival in Pakistan which he leads as Festival Director since 2007. In 2009, Shoaib received Endeavour Executive Award by Australian government and became a Commonwealth Fellow. He is working as consultant on arts-based projects with several national and international organizations including UNICEF and Groupe Developpement. Shoaib has been travelling extensively for several international arts exchange projects to India, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, UK, USA and Australia. Shoaib has co-founded The Little Art; a non-profit organization dedicated to produce arts based projects for children and young people in Pakistan.
An avid amateur violinist, Jana has volunteered since 2000 teaching the violin at the Patricia M. Sitar Center for the Arts, an arts after-school program for at-risk youth in Adams Morgan in Washington, DC. Jana has also been an integral force in coordinating fundraising, event planning, and marketing activities at the Sitar Center. Jana is a member of several arts organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of Washington Musica Viva, a chamber music performing organization. Prior to coming to the Kennedy Center, Jana was an International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. Jana helped strengthen Afghanistan’s economic development by creating linkages between American and Afghan businesses. She has also served as an Acting Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Prague, Czech Republic. Jana has a BA in International Relations from Bucknell University and an MA in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service.
Born in Japan, AnnaCatherine, is a native New Yorker from Queens. For the past five seasons she has served as Production Coordinator for the Lincoln Center Festival, a three week international performing arts summer festival. Festival favorites include: The Angel Project, Le Dernier Caravanserail, Heisei Nakamura-za, and Elvis Costello. Outside of Lincoln Center she has worked as a freelance producer and director and has shaped a variety of shows in such venues as The Kennedy Center (Page to Stage Festival), P.S.122 (NYC), The Boston Arts Center, Theatre Rhinoceros (San Francisco), The Berkshire Theatre Festival, and many others in New York City. Over the past seven years she has collaborated with the satirist Mike Albo to present several world premiere productions. In 1998 she was invited to Austin, Texas and co-founded the Fabulous and Ridiculous Theatre (F.a.R.T.) where she served as Artistic Director for three years. During her time there she directed and produced nine plays to critical and audience acclaim. AnnaCatherine received a B.A. in Theatre & Communications from the City University of New York, Queens College.
Mar Verdura Martos
Born in Barcelona (Spain), Mar studied Economics and Arts at the University Pompeu Fabra. Since 2000 Mar has lived in Mexico City (Mexico) working in Arts Management; first as Programming Coordinator for the “Festival de México en el Centro Histórico” and in 2002 as Executive Director in Music General Direction at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), which is the oldest, largest and most important University in Latin America.
Cassandra Weston has been active in theater and dance for most of her life. As a producer and artist, she has co-founded three theater companies: Van Reipen Collective (current), Resistance Theater in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and Naked Theater at the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana, where she received her B.F.A. in Performance Studies/Theater. She is currently working with XO Projects in Brooklyn, which runs the Old American Can Factory, and with Issue Project Room and Hot Bread Kitchen. From 2000-2006, she was the Managing Director of Nina Winthrop and Dancers. She was also Co-Curator of the 2006-7 Dance Conversations @ The Flea. (New York) series with Nina Winthrop. Cassandra has freelanced in production management, administration, and accounting for clients such as Battleworks Dance Company, Jody Oberfelder Dance Project, the Community Theatre Internationale, Magbana Drum & Dance NYC, Dance Anonymous, DanceBrazil, and the opera Violet Fire. Cassandraâ€™s artistic background is in performing, with an emphasis on nontraditional theatrical forms. She also plays trumpet with the band Fist of Kindness.