Ruby Lerner

March 5, 2016, 9:00 – 10:15 am, Big Think Plenary 3: The Artist as a Social Entrepreneur and Imagination Partner

March 5, 2016, 10:30 – 11:45 am, Issues and Insights 2: Inside the Blackbox: The Education and Culture of Arts and Design Schools (Concurrent Session)

Ruby Lerner is the founding Executive Director and President of Creative Capital, an innovative arts foundation that adapts venture capital concepts to support individual artists. Under her leadership, Creative Capital has committed $30 million in financial and advisory support to 419 projects representing 529 artists.

Prior to joining Creative Capital, Ruby Lerner served as the executive director of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and as publisher of the highly regarded Independent Film and Video Monthly. Having worked regionally in both the performing arts and independent media fields, she served as the executive director of Alternate ROOTS, a coalition of Southeastern performing artists, and IMAGE Film/Video Center, both based in Atlanta. In the late 1970s, she was the audience development director at the Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York’s foremost nonprofit theaters.

A native of North Carolina, Lerner worked in the state’s visiting artist program following graduate work in theater at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her undergraduate degree is in comparative religion from Goucher College, where she has served on the Committee of Visitors. During nearly 40 years in the arts, she has written and lectured extensively on arts issues; served on many boards, steering committees, and grantmaking panels; and has consulted with hundreds of arts organizations on audience development and related areas of arts management.

In her nearly 40 years in the arts, Ms. Lerner has written and lectured extensively, including at Harvard Business School (in conjunction with a Harvard Business School case study on Creative Capital) and for the University of North Carolina’s Entrepreneurship Program. She regularly presents on arts issues at conferences and summits, including the Grantmakers for the Arts conference, the National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture, IdeaFestival in Louisville and the Independent Sector National Conference. Lerner was a 30th Anniversary ArtTable Honoree (2011) and recipient of the John L. Haber Award from the University of North Carolina (2009), the Catalyst Award from the National Association of Artists Organizations (2007), the BAXten Award from the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2007), a Creative Leadership Award from the Alliance of Artists Communities (2005), the Artist Advocate Award from the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations (2003) and a Special Citation from Artists Space for her support of individual artists (2003).

Ms. Lerner currently serves on national advisory boards for the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA; the Shapiro Center at the Art Institute of Chicago; the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC; the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts in Winston Salem, NC; The University of Kentucky Art Museum; and SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME.