ProArts Presidents Symposium
ProArts and the City of Boston: The Possibilities of Place
The six institutions that make up the ProArts Consortium are fortunate to find themselves in the city of Boston and working together. The city shapes the work of these colleges in fundamental ways, even as the colleges aim to make a difference in the life of the city.
Emerson President Lee Pelton will lead the ProArts presidents in a discussion of how colleges devoted to the arts and communication can contribute to a world in which cultural complexity is the norm and civic leadership is a must.
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Moderator: President M. Lee Pelton
Lee Pelton is the 12th president of Emerson College and internationally known as a speaker and writer on the value of a liberal education and the importance of leadership development, civic engagement, and diversity in higher education. He came to Emerson in 2011, after serving for 13 years as the president of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and had previously served as dean of the college at Colgate University and Dartmouth College.
President Pelton began his academic career at Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in English Literature with a focus on 19th-century British prose and poetry. He taught English and American literature at Harvard and served as senior tutor at Winthrop House. He later served on the Harvard Board of Overseers and as a vice-chair of its executive committee. Over the years, he has been active in several higher education associations and cultural organizations, including the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (past chair), the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Dawn Barrett, President, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Dawn Barrett was named president of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2011. Prior to her arrival at the college, she served as the first female dean of the Division of Architecture and Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, and in a range of capacities at institutions in the United States and Europe.
President Barrett has a track record of facilitating cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, of serving as a spokesperson and advocate for art and design education, and has contributed significantly to the field of design through research, practice, and publications. She has studied fine art, earning a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Product Design from North Carolina State University, Raleigh. She is a trustee of North Carolina’s Penland School of Crafts and of the American Landscape Association Accreditation Board, a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) Commission on Accreditation, and a visiting evaluator for NASAD.
Chris Bratton, President of the SMFA, Deputy Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Chris Bratton has served as president of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and deputy director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, since 2010. He came to SMFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he had served as president and CEO. Prior to that, he held senior academic and administrative appointments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
President Bratton has a broad range of experience in consultancy, working with diverse organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Marwen Foundation. He is a founding member of the National Council on Youth, Education and Media and co-founder of Video Machete, a community-based youth organizing project. President Bratton holds a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Atlanta College of Art, an MFA in film from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art, and was a Fellow in the Studio Program at Whitney Independent Study Program.
Roger H. Brown, President, Berklee College of Music
President of Berklee College since 2004, Roger Brown brings to his work at the college a varied and distinguished range of experience: as a performer and recording artist; administrator of United Nations humanitarian operations in Southeast Asia and Africa; and co-founder (with his wife, Linda Mason) of Bright Horizons, a company that provides quality child care and early education to the children of working parents.
At Berklee, he initiated the Presidential Scholars and Africa Scholars programs that provide full-ride scholarships to top musicians around the globe, established semester-abroad programs in Greece and Germany, and created a Berklee campus in Valencia, Spain. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Cruz de Honor from the provincial government of Valencia, and the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. President Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Davidson College and his MBA from Yale University.
Dr. Theodore C. (Ted) Landsmark, President and CEO, Boston Architectural College
Ted Landsmark is president and CEO of the Boston Architectural College, an independent, accredited college of special design offering degrees in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and design studies. President Landsmark holds degrees in law and environmental design from Yale University, a Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, and has worked as Special Assistant to the Mayor of Boston. He is president-elect of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, serves on numerous additional boards and is a trustee emeritus of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He received the American Institute of Architects Whitney Young Jr. Award (2006) and served as the American Collegiate Schools of Architecture President (2006-2007).
Richard Ortner, President, Boston Conservatory
Richard Ortner was appointed president of The Boston Conservatory in July 1998, following a distinguished 23-year career in the management of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as administrator of the Tanglewood Music Center and assistant manager of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. He has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Copland Fund for Music. He has also served as chair of the Boston Arts Academy’s Board of Governors, member of the Artistic Advisory Committee of the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, overseer of the Handel & Haydn Society, and Planning Task Force member for Boston’s New Center for Arts and Culture. In 2011, he was invited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to lead an accreditation team for the New Hampshire Institute of Art and Design. President Ortner earned his BA in music from New York University, and studied piano with Richard Faber of the Juilliard faculty.