In this gathering for “What Can Art Do?,” we will be joined by Michele Snyder (Assistant Director, Leadership Gifts for the Whitney Museum of American Art) and Esther McGowan (Associate Director of Visual AIDS) for a discussion about arts fundraising and development strategies. Lunch will be served.
As Associate Director of Visual AIDS, Esther McGowan helps to spearhead Visual AIDS fundraising, including grant writing, individual donor appeals, and the planning of two annual benefit events: Postcards from the Edge and the Visual AIDS Vanguard Awards. She also oversees communication and outreach with Artist Members and runs the Materials Grant Program for HIV+ artists, which includes two grant cycles annually. She joined Visual AIDS in 2012 from The Center for Fiction where she was Development and Marketing Director. Prior to that, she was a freelance development consultant engaging in fundraising and benefit planning for clients such as The Watermill Center and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. She was Development Director at Alliance for the Arts, Development and Programs Manager at Arts International, and earlier in her career, held positions at The Art Matters Foundation and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. She holds a BA in Art History from NYU.
Michele Snyder has been with the Whitney Museum of American Art for 10 years. As a member of the senior staff she helped oversee individual fundraising on the Museum’s $760M Capital Campaign, which culminated in the opening of the Whitney’s downtown building in May 2015. In addition, Michele oversees three patron groups and two artwork acquisition committees at the Museum and stewards a portfolio of 250+ high-net-worth individual donors. Over the past 20 years in NYC, Michele has also worked at The Museum of Modern Art as the Edward John Noble Foundation Fellow, the Brooklyn Museum as Manager of Individual Giving, SculptureCenter as Development and Marketing Director, and the College Art Association as Development, Membership and Marketing Director. Michele holds an MA in Arts Administration from American University, where she received the 2008 Outstanding Alumni Award in the College of Arts & Sciences. She holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in Studio Art from Thiel College.