The Arts Administration programs at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs
November 2, 2010
Karen Gahl-Mills visited SPEA on Monday, November 1st to speak to Dr. Michael Rushton's Public Policy in the Arts class of graduate and undergraduate arts administration students. Ms. Gahl-Mills is the Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture of Cleveland, OH, the largest and richest granting agency for the arts in the state of Ohio. She spoke to students about her background, coming to Cuyahoga from a position as the President and Executive Director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in Syracuse, NY, and about being new to the side of the arts which makes grants instead of recieving grants. She told students about the history of the arts in Cleveland, the opportunities opened by and challenges faced by Cuyahoga becuase it is funded by a cigarette tax, and the challenges she faced when entering the organization in February of 2010 and the challenges she still faces after being in her position for 9 months. Students, as future arts administrators, particularly enjoyed her discussion of her day-to-day tasks as Executive Director including relations with the media, grantees, board and staff members, and government officials, as well as the efforts to better define grant eligibility, accountability, and diversity.