Canton Museum of Art Brings Arts Advocacy to the Table in Canton Rotary March Speaker Series


Contact: Max Barton, Marketing Director
(330) 453-7666, ext. 102 •

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 22, 2013, Canton, Ohio — As Ohio arts organizations and patrons face a proposed state sales tax on admission to cultural events, the timely and engaging topic of arts advocacy, education and community involvement headlines the March luncheon speaker series for the Rotary Club of Canton.

M.J. Albacete, executive director of the Canton Museum of Art and a long-time Rotarian, has programmed an all-star line up of arts leaders from the local, state and national level to address this timely and relevant issue of the arts as a vital part of community enrichment, and why support of arts programs remains critical to drive innovation, education and cultural and economic vitality. 

The lunch programs will be held from 11:30am – 1:00pm each Friday in March, and are being offered to non-members for $15.00 per person.  Reservations can be made by contacting the Rotary Club at (330) 452-2882.  The luncheon series is hosted at the Meyer’s Lake Ballroom, located at 3218 Parkway Street NW, in Canton, Ohio.  For information about Meyer’s Lake Ballroom, call (330) 455-5900.

Speakers and topics for this educational series include:     

• March 1: Gail Martino – “Arts Education in Pre-K - 12 Schools”
Consultant for Fine Arts and Social Studies, Stark County Educational Service Center

In her seventh year in this role, Martino served thirteen years previously as Pre-K - 12 General Curriculum Director for two school districts in the county, always with a focus on the arts and arts integration.  She is on several state arts education committees and serves on many boards of local and regional arts organizations, including: the Canton Symphony, where she chairs the Education Committee; the IlluminArts Board in Canton, Ohio; and The Artful Living Program in Massillon, Ohio.  She is also a member and a tireless supporter of other arts organizations such as the Canton Museum of Art, The Ohio Association for Arts Education, ArtsinStark, The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the National First Ladies’ Library, The Canton Ballet, The Massillon Museum and Ohio Citizens for the Arts.

• March 8: Ford Bell, DVM – “America’s Museums: Anchoring Communities, Expanding Horizons”
President, American Alliance of Museums

Bell began his tenure as president of the American Association of Museums in June 2007 and oversaw its evolution to become the Alliance in 2012. He brings to AAM a lifelong passion for museums, and a clear understanding of the important role which museums play as places of lifelong learning and inspiration.  He helped raise $103 million as co-chair of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ “Bring Art to Life” capital campaign, completed in 2006, and he served as chair of the organization’s board from 2003 to 2005.  Bell has more than 30 years experience as a nonprofit executive, board chair, donor, trustee and educator. A board-certified veterinary oncologist, Bell served on the staff of the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine from 1982 to 1995, where he taught and did clinical research in comparative oncology.  From 1995 to 2005, he was president and CEO of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.  From 1993 to 2007, he served as chair of the James Ford Bell Foundation. An educator for much of his career, Bell also served as a trustee of Connecticut College in New London, CT from 1998 to 2007.

 •  March 15: Julie Henahan – “Making the Case: The Arts, The Economy and Quality of Life”
Executive Director, Ohio Arts Council
Henahan is a long-tenured member of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) staff with more than 26 years experience as an arts administrator.   She was hired as the agency’s fourth executive director, and first woman director, in August of 2006.  As deputy director from 2002-2006 she oversaw the agency’s state subsidy budget development, federal grant preparation, policy and program development, strategic planning, personnel operations, compliance with state and federal laws and was the OAC liaison to the Attorney General’s office. Until June 2002, Henahan served as the OAC’s Grants Office director where she was responsible for the development of all procedures and policies related to the grants review process and managed the agency’s internal accounting of state subsidy funds as well as its federal funding.  She has served on the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ (NASAA) Research Information Committee, the National Standard Working Group, NASAA’s Planning and Budget Committee and was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of NASAA.

• March 22:  Jesse Rosen – “The Future of American Orchestras in Our Communities”
President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

Rosen has been recognized as one of the outstanding thinkers in contemporary performing arts leadership. As president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras since July 2008, he has raised the level of debate about orchestras among the nation’s cultural, policy, and opinion leaders and among the League’s approximately 850 member orchestras. Under his guidance, the League has taken a leadership role in helping orchestras adapt to a rapidly changing environment, particularly in the recent financial downturn. New initiatives have expanded the League’s support of orchestras as they work to strengthen their fiscal health, their management and board leadership, their engagement with their communities, and their artistic vitality. A lifelong musician and experienced orchestra CEO, Rosen was instrumental in creating new programs such as Music Alive, the American Conducting Fellows and Ford Made in America.  Prior to joining the League, he served as general manager of the Seattle Symphony, executive vice president and managing director of the American Composers Orchestra in New York City, orchestra manager of the New York Philharmonic, and vice president of programs for Affiliate Artists, Inc.  He serves on the boards of the American Composers Orchestra and the Performing Arts Alliance and the Board of Overseers of the Curtis Institute of Music.

• March 29:  Sandy Kreisman – “The State of the Arts in Akron/Canton: A Regional Perspective”
Interim Executive Director, Akron Area Arts Alliance
Kreisman has served as interim executive director at the Akron Area Arts Alliance (AAAA) since July 1, 2012.  Her focus is to develop the AAAA’s vibrant and vital role as the leading advocacy organization for arts and culture in the community and build arts leadership and capacity in the region in partnership with organizational members and regional arts organizations.  She served previously as a grants officer for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, arts education program coordinator for the New Hampshire Arts Council, and the founding director of the McDonough Museum of Art at Youngstown State University.  Most recently, she served as manager of education initiatives for University Circle Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio.  She has over 20 years of experience in community-building, fund-raising, organizational management and partnership development, with specialty expertise including integrated arts programs in K-12 environments, partnerships to improve education and project-based learning. 

About the Canton Museum of Art

The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) is recognized for its Permanent Collection of American watercolors and contemporary ceramics, unique exhibits and educational outreach programs.  The CMA offers a changing exhibition schedule each year that highlights works in its Permanent Collection, major touring exhibitions and original exhibits organized by the CMA.  Learn more at, on Facebook® at “Canton Museum of Art” or @CantonMuseum on Twitter.®

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