Knight Foundation and partners named as powerful leaders in the arts

Arts / Article

Barry’s Blog, a leading arts blog published as a “service of the Western States Arts Federation,” has honored several Knight Arts leaders in its fifth annual listing of the 50 most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit arts. Each year, national leaders anonymously submit nominations for influential and powerful leaders in arts administration and organizational leadership. This year four Knight Arts leaders were named to the list: Knight Foundation VP/Arts Dennis Scholl and Knight Arts national advisory council members Aaron Dworkin, Scott Provancher and Gary Steuer.

Click here to read the entire list and read below for excerpts highlighting Knight Arts leaders…

Dennis Scholl, Vice President/Arts at Knight Foundation

Collector, Philanthropist, Emmy winning documentarian, Harvard fellow, Scholl is responsible for some of the funding world’s best known and loved out-of-the-box projects including Random Acts of Culture.  He is comfortable with risk taking to a degree most are not and he understands the importance of moving towards new ways of addressing old problems.   His eight city core funding community gives him local clout and national perspective, and his close working ties with Rocco at the Endowment have increased his visibility beyond the arts.

Aaron Dworkin, Founder/President SPHINX Organization “How do you convey the energy, passion, drive, talent and staying power of an arts leader like Aaron Dworkin?   Violinist, poet, social entrepreneur, community builder, global cultural warrior – he’s is the founder, President of and inspiration behind the Sphinx Organization.  Aaron Dworkin lives and breathes the Sphinx mission – to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts.   It all began 16 years ago when Aaron, whose love of and devotion to classical music began at a very young age, took up the challenge of addressing the lack of diversity in the audiences and on the stages where classical music was performed.  15 Sphinx competitions, a successful international youth education and touring program and many accolades later, this MacArthur Genius Award winner continues to knock down barriers, advocate the embrace of change and blaze a path for young people to reach their potential.   His inspired and visionary approach has transformed thinking about and shaped the future for the arts and young people everywhere.”

Scott Provancher, President, Arts & Science Council “Scott Provancher is a path maker and front-runner.  In 2009 when Scott arrived in Charlotte, arts giving patterns had already started to shift away from united appeals.  Then came the economic downturn… Undaunted, Scott focused energy on creating innovative giving systems that would lure back previous donors and attract new ones.  He has challenged the cultural sector to think differently about sustainability while also ensuring offerings remain accessible to the community.  Power2Give (an online giving platform already adopted by other cities and states) and a new 100+million recapitalization fund are just two examples – among many – of Provancher/ASC  ingenuity that are making Charlotte one of the growing arts and culture cities in America.  Scott thrives on finding the innovative, long-term solution, AND he is a wonderful combination of brilliant, hard-driving, and kind.” 

Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer City of Philadelphia

He has successfully managed more game changing initiatives over the past few years (Business and the Arts pre-AFTA take-over, and the national Arts Marketing Project to name but two) than most organization leaders can claim as lifetime accomplishments.  A thinking man’s arts leader with ideas that work.  Big player on the powerful Philadelphia arts scene, with an ever widening national network.