Amy Fitterer came to the position of Executive Director of Dance/USA after serving as the Director of Government Affairs for both Dance/USA and OPERA America. As Director of Government Affairs, Amy was responsible for tracking federal legislation and informing members of the dance and opera fields of advocacy news and opportunities. Through coalition activities with the Performing Arts Alliance and the Cultural Advocacy Group, Amy advocated in support of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, arts in education programs at the Department of Education, cultural exchange programs at the State Department, visa and tax policies for foreign guest artists, charitable giving and tax regulations, national service and the arts, and technology policies at the Federal Communications Commission. Amy danced with the Peninsula Ballet Theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the former director of Lisa Spector’s Music School in Half Moon Bay, CA. She received her ballet training from the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Connecticut. Amy holds a B.S. in piano performance from Indiana University and an M.A. in arts administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth executive director of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals since its founding in 1957. He came to APAP from the National Endowment for the Arts where he was Director of Artist Communities and Presenting. At the NEA, Durham contributed to such programs as An Evening of Poetry hosted by President and Mrs. Obama, the NEA Opera Honors, and he inaugurated the Artist Communities granting program.
After holding numerous management positions and serving as performing arts director of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 1990s, Durham founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. This outdoor event offers more than 100 free performances by the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and more for an audience of 100,000 attendees.
Durham has served on numerous boards including Galeria de la Raza and APAP’s board and executive committee. He is currently a board member of the Alliance of Artist Communities, National Center for Creative Aging, and the Cultural Data Project. He is also on the WETA Community Advisory Council and the American University Arts Management Advisory Council.
Ed Harsh is President and CEO of New Music USA, which was created when the American Music Center merged with Meet The Composer (MTC) in 2011. Previously, Ed served as MTC’s President and Vice President.
Ed’s professional career in the arts includes service as a program director, development officer, composer, teacher, and writer at organizations including the Kurt Weill Edition, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Bury & Associates, and Sequitur new music ensemble.
As a founding member of the Common Sense Composers Collective and as an individual composer, Ed has created commissioned work for prominent ensembles such as the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and American Baroque. He has published numerous essays on music, musical editions, and recording reviews. Ed’s compositions are recorded on the Albany, Santa Fe New Music, CRI, and Neuma labels.
Ed holds degrees in composition and musicology, including a DMA from Yale University, an MA from Columbia University, and a BM from Peabody Conservatory. He also studied at the Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands.
Betsy King Militello, Treasurer
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
New York, NY
Betsy King Militello comes to the National Alliance for Musical Theatre from Outward Bound where she was Vice President of Development, responsible for an $8M annual fundraising goal. Prior organizations in which she served in non-profit administration and fundraising leadership roles include Hunter College, the NYU Child Study Center, Cooper Union, and the Big Apple Circus. She has also taught at Marymount Manhattan College as an Adjunct Professor in Non-profit Management.
Following completion of her undergraduate degree at Harvard, Militello began a career in advertising. She received her Master’s degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management with additional coursework in administration at the Yale School of Drama. Militello worked as a management consultant for Fortune 100 companies prior to moving to the non-profit sector. She also has theatre production experience, primarily in stage management and lighting, in both professional and volunteer musical theatre and opera organizations including Glimmerglass Opera and the Blue Hill Troupe.
Catherine Dehoney became President & CEO of Chorus America in the spring of 2015. She brings a wealth of experience in arts management and fundraising, having served most recently as the executive director for development at the Castleton Festival. Before her work at the Castleton Festival, Dehoney served as the chief development officer at Chorus America for over ten years. Prior to that, she was senior director of development at Gallaudet University. During her nine-year tenure there, she served as a member of the president’s management team and the institutional advancement team.
Dehoney’s professional career includes capital campaign management, development consulting for a variety of arts nonprofits, and fundraising positions at the League of American Orchestras, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Friends of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dehoney received her BA in music from the College of William and Mary and continues to be an avid singer, having sung professionally in church choirs and with a jazz band.
María López De León has been the Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) for 13 years. In January 2013, President Obama appointed her to the National Council on the Arts, and in 2012 and 2013, she was named among the nation’s 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts. She is a noted speaker and advocate for arts and cultural equity.
Under Ms. De León’s leadership, NALAC launched the NALAC Fund for the Arts, the Transnational Cultural Remittances grant program, and the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces program. She has grown NALAC’s annual Leadership Institute and Latino Arts Advocacy Institute, and she also produced Visiones, a PBS documentary series with educational curriculum on Latino art and culture. Ms. De León is leading the efforts to renovate a historic site in San Antonio to become NALAC’s national offices and a national arts leadership training institute.
Ms. De León serves on the boards and advisory councils of the First People’s Fund, the Performing Arts Alliance, San Anto Cultural Arts, and Women of Color in the Arts. Ms. De León is a fellow of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She studied Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Teresa Eyring became Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) in March 2007. Under her leadership, TCG has adopted a new strategic plan focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as audience and community engagement. TCG has articulated a new, unifying vision statement: “A better world for theatre. A better world because of theatre.”
Eyring’s theatre career includes service as the development director of the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater, and managing director of the Wilma Theater. Eyring has spearheaded several capital campaigns, including a $32 million campaign for building renovation, construction of a second theatre space, and new programming at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis where she served as managing director.
In addition to PAA, Eyring currently serves on the board of The Actor’s Fund. Her honors include being named a “Woman to Watch” by the Twin Cities Business Journal in July 2005, and receiving the Distinguished Achievement Award in Management from the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology in 2015. She holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MFA in Theatre Administration from Yale School of Drama.
Margaret M. Lioi joined Chamber Music America as Chief Executive Officer in June 2000. In her tenure, CMA has expanded its grant making, increased its endowment funds, implemented new professional development programs, and brought a greater awareness of the many styles of chamber music to new and diverse audiences throughout the country. Under her direction, CMA inaugurated the first annual National Chamber Music Month in May 2012, during which time over three hundred ensembles and presenters in all 50 states performed and presented the many varieties of chamber music, bringing increased public attention to the art form.
After receiving her Masters in Piano Performance from New England Conservatory, Ms. Lioi began her career as a professional pianist, focusing on vocal coaching and opera accompanying as well as on classical chamber music. She later received an MBA in Arts Administration from Binghamton University/SUNY. Prior to Chamber Music America, she served as Director of Development for Spoleto Festival U.S.A., Executive Director of The Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust, and Senior Director of External Affairs at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. She is on the Board of Visitors of New England Conservatory and on the Advisory Board of The Sphinx Organization as well as Vice President of the Pastoral Council of The Church of Saint Joseph in Greenwich Village.
Abel López has served as GALA’s Associate Producing Director for almost 30 years, during which time he has produced more than 65 shows and directed more than 30. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, an adjunct professor at George Mason University, and a faculty member of the NALAC Leadership Institute.
Lopez currently serves as chair of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts and is also on the board of the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC). He has previously served as Chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Helen Hayes Awards.
Lopez’s contributions to the arts have been recognized via the Richard Bauer Leadership Award from the Washington Performing Arts Video Archive, the Selena Roberts Ottum Award from Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts, and The Washington Post Award for Distinguished Community Service.
John Nuechterlein is President and CEO of the American Composers Forum, a leading national service organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 1975 by students at the University of Minnesota, the Forum has approximately 2,000 composer and performer members in all fifty states. It offers a broad range of innovative programs that support the artistic careers of composers and develop new opportunities for their work.
John was the Forum’s Managing Director from 1998–2003 and became President in July 2003. He has expanded the Forum’s nationally recognized innova® recording label through a distribution agreement with Naxos USA, the world’s largest music distributor. The Forum also co-produces the Composers Datebook® radio show with Minnesota Public Radio.
Prior to the Forum, John spent 15 years in the corporate sector in various senior management positions at leading consumer product companies. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Music in organ and voice performance from Valparaiso University. In addition to PAA, John also serves on the board of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.
Jesse Rosen has been President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras since 2008. He has been a leading voice for change, empowering the League’s 800 member orchestras with knowledge and perspective to navigate their own paths through a rapidly changing environment. Under Rosen’s leadership, the League has advocated for orchestras’ deeper engagement with community; greater understanding of fiscal health; increased use of data to inform decision-making; and widespread engagement with composers.
During his 16 years at the League, Rosen has created new programs around artistry, leadership development, diversity, governance, capitalization, and community engagement, including Ford Made in America, Music Alive, and Getty Education and Community Investment Grants. Rosen serves on the boards of the American Composers Orchestra, the Curtis Institute of Music, and is Vice Chair of the Performing Arts Alliance.
A lifelong musician and experienced orchestra CEO, Rosen has served in management and executive roles at the Seattle Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and Affiliate Artists, Inc. A trombonist, Jesse Rosen received his bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and pursued graduate studies at The Juilliard School.
Cookie Gregory Ruiz has over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, organizational development, and non-profit fund-raising/management. She joined Ballet Austin in 1996 as Development Director, became General Manager in 1997, and Executive Director in 1999.
Since 2002, Ruiz has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive (C.F.R.E.) designated by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Her community honors include Austin Business Journal’s “Profiles in Power” Award and the Austin Community Foundation’s Beverly S. Sheffield Award for Excellence as a Nonprofit Executive. Ms. Ruiz served as city-wide Chair of CreateAustin and as a City Council appointee to ImagineAustin’s Citizen’s Advisory Task Force.
Ms. Ruiz is the former national Chair of Dance/USA and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. Additional board service includes the Performing Arts Alliance, Texans for the Arts, and the Mayor’s Better Austin Foundation. She is also a Fellow of The National Arts Strategies International Chief Executive Program. Ms. Ruiz serves as a speaker, facilitator and presenter for a variety of leadership conferences.
Roche Edward Schulfer is executive director of Goodman Theatre. On September 4, 2013, his 40th anniversary with the theater, Mr. Schulfer was honored with a star on the Goodman’s “Walkway of Stars.”
Schulfer has overseen more than 335 productions, including close to 130 world premieres. In partnership with the Goodman’s Artistic Director, Mr. Schulfer established the theatre’s core values of quality, diversity, and community engagement. Under Schulfer’s tenure, the Goodman has received numerous awards for excellence, including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater.
Mr. Schulfer is a founder of the League of Chicago Theatres trade association for area theater companies and producers. He has served in leadership roles with Arts Alliance Illinois, Theatre Communications Group, and the League of Resident Theatres. Among the many recognitions of his work are the Vision 2020 Equality in Action Medal for promoting gender equality and diversity in the workplace and Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from North Central College.
Mr. Schulfer is a member of the adjunct faculty of The Theatre School at DePaul University, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he managed the cultural arts commission.
Marc A. Scorca joined OPERA America in 1990 as President and CEO. Under his leadership, OPERA America’s membership has grown to nearly 2,500 organizations and individuals. The organization has launched an endowment to support new works and audience development activities; relocated its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to New York City; and built the National Opera Center, which opened in 2012. The Opera Center’s audition recital hall was recently dedicated as Marc A. Scorca Hall in honor his 25th anniversary with the organization.
Scorca was instrumental in the founding of Opera.ca and Opera Europa, OPERA America’s sister organizations. A strong advocate of collaboration, Scorca has led several cross-disciplinary projects, including the Performing Arts Research Coalition and the National Performing Arts Convention. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO and currently serves on the board of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Music Advisory Board of Hunter College. Due largely to Scorca’s leadership, OPERA America was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Scorca is an alumnus of Amherst College, where he studied history and music.
Alisha Tonsic is Executive Director of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), a non-profit field leadership organization serving a national performing arts community of 350+ companies and individuals dedicated to ensemble practice and collaborative creation. She transitioned to the position in September 2015 after 10 years with NET, first as Board Treasurer, then as Managing Director.
Previously, Alisha served for 10 years as the first Managing Director for Sojourn Theatre (now part of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice), working in partnership with the ensemble and founding Artistic Director Michael Rohd.
Her prior arts administration experience includes positions in finance, fundraising, general management, program development, field research, and literary management/dramaturgy at American Repertory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group.
Alisha has served as an independent non-profit arts consultant focusing on small- and mid-sized companies. She received a BA in Theatre and in English from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Carlton Turner is the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a regional non-profit arts organization based in the south supporting artists working at the intersection of arts and social justice.
Carlton Turner is co-founder and co-artistic director, along with his brother Maurice Turner, of the group M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction). M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a Mississippi-based performing arts group that blends of jazz, hip-hop, spoken word poetry and soul music together with non-traditional storytelling and a member of the Progress Theatre Ensemble.
Carlton is currently on the board of Appalshop, an advisory member to the National Theater Project at New England Foundation for the Arts and Michael Rohd’s Catalyst Initiative. Carlton is a member of the We Shall Overcome Fund Advisory Board at the Highlander Center for Research and Education, a steering committee member of the Arts and Culture Social Justice Network, and former Network of Ensemble Theaters steering committee member.
In 2011 Carlton was awarded the M. Edgar Rosenblum award for outstanding contribution to Ensemble Theater by Irondale Ensemble Project in Brooklyn, NY. He was named to the Kennedy Center Honors Artist Advisory Board alongside Debbie Allen, María López De León, and Ping Chong in 2013. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a recipient of the 2015 Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre.
Performing Arts Alliance Staff
Cristine Davis joined PAA as the General Manager in June 2013. She previously served as the programs and communications associate at the Arts Education Partnership where she was responsible for partner communications, operations, and managing AEP’s national convenings for the field of arts education research and policy.
At PAA, Cristine manages advocacy communications, daily operations, member relationships, and works with the board and government affairs associates on various strategies and projects
Cristine is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and holds a BA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Arts Management from the H. John Heinz III College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. A lifelong dancer, Cristine performs and teaches in the DC area.