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Alliance Welcomes 3 New Trustees

The Alliance of Artists Communities is honored to welcome three new members to its Board of Trustees, voted on by the Alliance's Organizational Membership in November, 2012: Mario Garcia Durham, President/CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Linda Earle, Executive Director of New York Arts Program; and Cynthia Gehrig, President of The Jerome Foundation. The Alliance Board is Chaired by Dr. Wayne P. Lawson, Director Emeritus at the Ohio Arts Council, and Professor at The Ohio State University.

The Alliance board is comprised of distinguished national arts leaders, artists, patrons, and policy-makers, representing a diverse range of perspectives. "2013 is going to be a great year for the Alliance," says Board Chair Wayne Lawson. "I hope you will all join us and welcome three fantastic new board members who are committed to the mission of the Alliance and who have worked for many years in the field on behalf of individual artists and the residency programs that support them. Their commitment to supporting artists and contributing to a more vibrant cultural world is outstanding, and it will be an honor to serve on the Alliance board with them."

For a full list of the 2013 Board of Trustees and the Honorary Board, click here.

Mario Garcia Durham
In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth executive director of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters since its founding in 1957. He joined APAP from the National Endowment for the Arts where he was Director of Artist Communities & Presenting. At the NEA, Durham was involved in creating the new Artist Communities division in 2009, developing programs such as An Evening of Poetry hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama, and was the initiator of Live from Your Neighborhood, a groundbreaking study of the impact of outdoor arts festivals in the U.S.

After holding numerous management positions and serving as artistic director at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 1990s, he founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The 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 previously served on the APAP Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee.

Durham’s large Mexican American family in South Texas has roots in the historic King Ranch, and his great grandfather was a legendary Texas Ranger. A graduate of the University of Houston, Durham is passionate about a broad range of performing arts especially classical music, dance, Broadway shows, opera and evolving forms of performance and media arts. His reading list includes histories, biographies, letters and books about eclectic aspects of culture. He is an avid cook and gardener, and a collector of religious iconography and mid-century plastics.

Linda Earle
Linda Earle has a long track record experience in visual, performing and media arts having worked as an administrator, grant-maker, and advocate for artists and culture.  She is currently the Executive Director the New York Arts Program an accredited off campus study program serving undergraduates nationally in the visual, performing and media arts, writing and journalism that provides students with multifaceted learning opportunities through apprenticeships, seminars and independent projects. Before joining NYAP she served as the Executive Director of Program for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, one of the nation’s leading organizations for emerging visual artists. Earle was a Senior Program Director for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) where the multi-disciplinary Individual Artists Program was established under her direction in 1984. Later in her tenure, she served as Director of the Museum/Visual Arts and Theatre programs. Before joining NYSCA, she worked in production and managerial positions in the theatre and in independent film.

Earle has taught Film and Cultural Theory courses at Barnard and Hunter Colleges and at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has lectured widely on issues pertinent to individual artists and arts advocacy and has been a keynote speaker at national forums on the arts. Earle has curated visual arts and film exhibitions. She has served on many advisory, awards, and admissions panels, including the Pew Foundation, the NEA, NEH, and New Dramatists, and has served in leadership positions on numerous arts and community non-profit Boards.

She serves on the Board of Governors of Colby College Museum. She is president of the Board of the Art Matters Foundation, and serves on Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, an organization that serves as an expert advocate and educational resource for full inclusion in theatre, film, television and related media. As a writer she has participated in professional residency programs at Hedgebrook and the Writers’ Room. Earle received her BA in Film Studies from Hampshire College; and an MFA in Film from Columbia University where she also studied painting, art history, and architectural history. 

Cynthia Gehrig
Cynthia Gehrig is President of the Jerome Foundation, a private foundation that makes grants in the arts in Minnesota and New York City. She joined the Foundation over 30 years ago as a Program Associate, and has served as its Executive since 1978. Gehrig has served on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, completing terms as both Vice-Chair and Chair, and as Chair of Grantmakers in the Arts. She facilitated the first Arts Funding Benchmark publication for The Foundation Center and Grantmakers in the Arts. She is the former Managing Trustee and Chair of the Camargo Foundation, an operating Foundation that supports scholarly and artistic work through subsidized fellowship residencies at a work-study center in Cassis, France. She served as Vice Chair on the Board of ITVS, the Independent Television Service, and is currently serving as Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota.