Dr. Keith D. Lee

2020 AAAE Board Nominee

Dr. Keith D. Lee, AAAE Individual Member

Bio: Keith D. Lee, M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D., consults with public, private, and nonprofit agencies in the design of management infrastructures and projects to support creative placemaking. Dr. Lee earned a Ph.D. in Arts Administration, Education, and Policy from The Ohio State University. He also earned both a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Indiana University Bloomington, as well as holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an Arts Management Concentration from Wabash College. Employed, from 2001 - 2006, in the Department of Africana Studies at University of Notre Dame, Dr. Lee assisted in the transition of that academic program into a department where he worked as Director of Education, Assistant Director for Program Development and Operations, and Special Professional Faculty. His expertise and experiences include nonprofit and public management; ethnic diversity and cultural heritage arts development; strategic and event planning; grants management and writing; board, staff, and volunteer management; philanthropic studies, and community arts development in traditional and non-traditional environments.

Dr. Lee has participated as a consultant, researcher, and/or volunteer panelist for such organizations as the Indiana Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Ohio Arts Council, the Department of Education, Opera Memphis, and the Urban Arts Commission. From 2012 to 2019, Dr. Lee presented research on community arts development; grassroots and ethnic arts funding; organizational behavior, management and theory in the Arts at the Association of Arts Administration Educators, the National Arts Marketing Project, and Social Theory Politics and the Arts conferences. His dissertation investigated the implementation and management of public and private arts endowments, cultural trust funds, and companion foundations, at State Arts Agencies. Dr. Lee has held professorships in Art Education, African American Literature, Africana Studies, and Creative Writing, and possesses over twenty-five years of teaching in public schools, colleges, universities, and non-traditional environments.

AAAE Position Statement: My concerns and issues have always been and continue to be about the quality of arts administration education in its cultural variety and contexts. I have continuously introduced racial and ethnic inclusion practices in this organization, American for the Arts, STPA, and other national and local associations for decades. Moreover, I have sought to develop and create dialogues as opportunities for all ethnic groups and people offering differing perspectives about art, arts education, arts management, and arts policy development. I create opportunity to utilize my education and teaching abilities in multiple arenas in and outside the academy. While true I would have liked more opportunities shaping and teaching students in arts administration education, I have found other outlets to share knowledge via mentorships, consultancies, conferences, and workshops where I financed my own attendance and participation. To that end, I feel that arts administration students and personnel working in the arts should have more diversity exposure through formal instruction and experiential learning with staff, students, and scholars from multiple cultural heritages.

Associations can have great influences in policies and practices of their member organizations. I understand that associations should not dictate to its member but they are able to provide information to member organizations and members about their own trends, practices and policies as related to the field at large. The objective is to gather, analyze, and distribute information so that member organizations can be more informed as a field about their own practices and policies associated with racial and ethnic diversity, as well as about the variety of arts administration professions available to association membership. My commitment and practice in the sector and in the study of arts administration and cultural heritage arts have been forward thinking. For the above reasons, I am thrilled at AAAE’s initiative to invite a practitioner not working at an academic institution to a board seat. My interest is to assist AAAE in achieving its racial and ethnic diversity goals while concurrently creating employment outlets for interdisciplinary scholarship and employment. I clearly may be able to assist in sustainable development of programmed opportunities for students of color and ethnicity, as well as for lifelong learners of all cultural heritages and races.