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Mentee Webinar: Development 101
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Development 101

February 11, 2016


In this webinar we will speak with two senior development professionals. As fiscal pressures have increased the need for fundraising in art museums, development specialists have become an increasingly essential part of the museum team. They work with individuals, corporations, foundations, and government funders to support the work of the museum. Development and Curatorial interests and activities are inextricably linked, and this conversation will examine the ways in which individuals in the two areas work together effectively to support the vision and goals of their institutions. Our speakers, John Easley (VP and Chief Philanthropy Officer, St. Louis Symphony) and Jane Hilton (Senior Manager of Major Gifts and Philanthropy at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto) have years of experience managing development initiatives and activities in art museums and other cultural organizations. The discussion will be moderated by Michelle Jacques, Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.


Michelle Jacques, Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Since 2012, Michelle Jacques has held the position of chief curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV), a small but vibrant museum located in British Columbia, Canada. Her main responsibility is the oversight of a curatorial and education team and program of activities that aims to link contemporary art and experience to the Gallery's historical collections and legacies.The AGGV is in the early stages of a building and program renewal, and has just launched a capital campaign. Luckily Michelle has some experience with museum redevelopment projects, having worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto during its Frank Gehry renovation. Over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to work closely with development colleagues on a variety of fundraising initiatives, and is indebted to them for inspiring her to have a deeper appreciation for philanthropy as a key step in the process of building communities around art. 


John Easley, Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, St. Louis Symphony

Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer since 2013, John Easley, is a 40 year veteran development and marketing executive with cultural organizations. 
Easley served the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, Santa Fe as President/CEO. He led marketing, development and external affairs programs for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. While serving as the Vice President for Development and External Affairs at the St. Louis Art Museum from 2002-2008, he planned and implemented the capital campaign to support the museum’s $160 million dollar expansion. Easley has also served as Chief Development Officer with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Museum of Art.  He has directed multi-faceted capital and endowment campaigns that have raised more than $700 million during the course of his career, including membership, annual giving, major and planned gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, and special events.  Easley has also served cultural and educational organizations as an independent consultant, and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.

Jane Hilton, Senior Manager, Philanthropy and Major Gifts, Art Gallery of Ontario

Jane Hilton has 16 years experience in the art museum sector. Hilton’s development career began at The Power Plant, Canada’s leading public gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary visual art.  In 2005, Hilton joined the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) development team where she has held a variety of roles including contributing to the $300M+ capital campaign for the Frank Gehry-designed expansion, leading the special events portfolio and launching AGO Next, a successful membership program for young professionals. Hilton’s current role as Senior Manager, Philanthropy and Major Gifts entails securing support from individuals, foundations and government. Hilton holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Western Ontario. 


*Mentorship Program webinars are open to only the mentees or mentors within the Program. For more information on the AAMC Mentorship Program, please click here.


This program is generously supported in part by funding provided by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) and the AAMC President's Circle. 

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