Local Arts Leaders Join the National Stage

From Anne B. Pope, Executive Director —

The Tennessee Arts Commission would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to two local arts leaders who have recently been asked to bring their expertise to the national stage. Both from Nashville, Casey Summar has been elected to Americans for the Arts’ Advisory Council and Jennifer Cole to the Creative Youth Development National Advisory Committee.

Casey Summar HeadshotCasey Summar is the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council. She has been elected for a three-year term by members of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) to be a part of the advisory council for the Private Sector Council. Here she will work to develop and implement private-sector advocacy programs.

Summar has devoted her professional career to the development of sustainable arts businesses and building awareness in the business community around the value of the arts. As Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council, Summar oversees the organization, including the Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts program. She co-founded the program as the Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (TNVLA) in 2006, serving as its Executive Director until merging TNVLA with the Arts & Business Council in 2009. Summar was named CEO of the Year at the 2016 Center for Nonprofit Management Salute to Excellence Nonprofit Awards.

Jennifer Cole HeadshotJennifer Cole is the Executive Director of Metro Arts. She has been appointed to join the Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Advisory Committee to be a part of its role in helping to shape and vet strategic recommendations for how to advance the field of CYD.

Cole has lead the Nashville’s efforts in art, culture and creative economy, through the capacity of Executive Director of Metro Arts since 2010. She has over 20 years of experience in organizational leadership and change management and has worked extensively in the public and non-profit sectors in a variety of executive positions. Cole earned a degree in English from the University of Mary Washington and serves on many local boards and national arts efforts including The National Arts Executive Leadership Forum and the Executive Board of the U.S. Urban Arts Federation. She is a frequent national speaker about the role of arts in community transformation.

Both of these advisory committees play an important national role in the arts. Tennessee is fortunate to have such strong local leaders supporting the arts in our state, and the Commission looks forward to seeing how these two women will continue to share their skills and passions for the benefit of the arts—at home and across the nation.