Welcome to our MCI/CEP Adjudicators

Left to right, Mary K. Kennedy, Mary Margaret Schoenfeld and Wayne Martin

By Hal Partlow, Associate Director of Grants —

On April 2, we began Tennessee’s Major Cultural Institutions and Cultural Education Partnership Annual Grant Reviews. We are pleased to welcome our adjudicators, national arts leaders Mary K. Kennedy, Mary Margaret Schoenfeld and Wayne Martin. We are grateful to have their expertise and appreciate the time they are giving to Tennessee. 

Mary Margaret Schoenfeld

Mary Margaret Schoenfeld is an independent arts management consultant focused on ensuring that meaningful arts and cultural opportunities are available to the widest possible audience. Working primarily with arts funding agencies, foundations and art organizations, Schoenfeld provides program and project management, conducts training and provides technical assistance, provides facilitation and strategic planning services, conducts research, develops and supports peer learning networks, and manages funding programs. Schoenfeld currently serves as National Coordinator for the six US Regional Arts Organizations, and recently served as the consultant to the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Arts Education State Policy Pilot Program and coordinator for the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response. She has an MA in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. A Vermont native, she lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Mary K. Kennedy

As the longtime CEO of the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mary Kennedy has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the arts and humanities, with an extensive background in strategic planning, financial management, exhibition development, collection management, and fundraising. During her career, she has built long-term relationships with board members, staff, colleagues, partners, funders, government agencies, and constituents. Kennedy served as CEO and Executive Director of Mid-America Arts Alliance/ExhibitsUSA in Kansas City, Missouri, for more than a dozen years. She raised more than $25 million for the organization and developed a national program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. She also led the team that created HELP (Hands-on Experiential Learning Project), a nationally recognized Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded museum development program, which has provided multi-year, in-depth training to staffs and boards of more than 100 museums across the region. Recently, Mary named as the director of the new Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College. 

Wayne Martin

Wayne Martin is the Executive Director for the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency that sustains and develops the arts in all 100 counties of the state. Martin has broad experience in arts administration but has been an especially strong advocate for the value of arts in economic development. He created the Arts Council’s Cultural Trails network in the 1990s and in 2013 launched the agency’s SmART Initiative, a downtown revitalization program that has had garnered national attention for its effectiveness in small and medium-sized cities. Martin led the team that created the Blue Ridge Music Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trails, projects that set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area. In 2004 he traveled to the White House in Washington to receive the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the partners who accomplished this work. Martin’s works to expand resources for the arts inspired him to create the North Carolina Arts Council Foundation in 2014 which, to date, has received $1.5 million for the A+ Schools program that uses the arts to teach the state mandated curriculum. His advocacy with elected leaders has resulted in state legislative increases for the Arts Council in each of the last two legislative sessions and an overall budget increase of 30% for the agency since 2013.