Dear Donna,

Thank you for giving your time so generously to Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership by presenting at the 2016 Cultural and Ethnic Arts Executive Leadership Certificate Program this summer.  We truly appreciate the value that you added to this program and more importantly, to the lives and careers of the cohort members.

We really enjoyed your clear enthusiasm on Audience Development and Access.   The participants truly appreciated your timely and useful discussion.  We’ve heard such great feedback on your presentations and on what a compelling and knowledgeable resource you are to participants.

We would like to invite you to continue your commitment to the cohort members of this special inaugural cohort by volunteering to mentor a participant. The commitment requires mentors to check in regularly with mentees, however that may be most convenient to you, and more importantly, navigate channels for success along with your mentee.

Please let us know if you are interested in this opportunity. We hope to have all mentors and mentees paired by the end of October 2016.

Thank you again for your invaluable support in bringing an exceptional education to our nonprofit leaders who are committed to their own development to diversify the leadership of arts organizations and promote a civil society.


James Abruzzo
Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL)
Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Dear Donna,

The STA conference has ended and I am full of gratitude to so many people who made it a remarkable event, but in particular to you.

Thank you for traveling to share your joyful vision.  I had so many people say it was the highlight of the conference for them.  Your remarks certainly resonated and inspired a lot of conversation during the rest of the sessions.

It seemed particularly important to me that you reminded us that the work of diversifying our audiences, which most of our membership embraces wholeheartedly, is not a slog but a privilege and a joy.

Thank you for being so warm and available to everyone.  I know that Jean particularly enjoyed getting to know you a little better on your drive.  I myself am making “Be A Warrior for the Arts—with Joy” my internal mantra.

Please let me know if we can ever do you a service.  It was an honor to have had you at the Shakespeare Theatre Association.



Dear Donna,

“On behalf of my team, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for yesterday’s inspiring workshop with Donna. The work Donna has devoted herself to is completely aligned with ours and it’s incredibly inspiring to hear from someone who’s had success with similar challenges/ opportunities. I’ve taken her advice to heart and Ronnie will be taking everything he learned back to our communications team.

“We’re looking forward to working in unison with some of the other east end arts organizations – thank you for curating such a fantastic group and especially for offering this opportunity to our tenants. I’m going to follow up with Donna directly for her list of recommended readings and some other things. Looking forward to continuing to work together.”

Seema Jethalal
Managing Director, Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre

“The session with Donna was so helpful; thank you for organizing it!”
Ananya Ohri, Executive Director, Regent Park Film Festival

“And thanks for a great meeting last week. It was really valuable and I am so grateful you brought me and TDT to the table!”
Andrea Vagianos, Managing Director, Toronto Dance Theatre

Dear Warren, Jessica, Donna, and Betty,

Thank you so much for designing the cultural equity session and presenting at the Annual Meeting. Our Partners in Education network members are very interested in this topic, so we’re grateful to be able to turn to your experience and expertise. You really played a part in making this Annual Meeting a success.


Kelsey Mesa
Assistant Manager, National Partnerships
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts