Director of Ohio Arts Council selected as 2016-17 Leader-in-Residence

Donna Collins headshot

Donna Collins, Director of the Ohio Arts Council and former Executive Director for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, has been named the 2016-17 Schwartz Leader-in-Residence at Marietta College.

Collins will lead a year-long project that is designed to help students develop greater knowledge and skills in the advocacy of music and the arts. Dr. Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Center for Leadership & Business, said the work conducted this year will include locating and identifying recent legislative action at the state and national level affecting the arts, identifying useful research in the area of arts advocacy and development and identifying up to date educational research on the role and positive outcomes of the educational system that demonstrates an active and effective music/arts program.

“I’m very excited about this LIR Project because it sends a powerful message to the community about the importance of the arts,” Perruci said. “It fits really well with the College’s core value of service to the region. Beyond that, it will also strengthen the ties between the city and the College. We are very fortunate to have Donna Collins as our next LIR, and I’m deeply appreciative of the Music Department to serve as the host for this year's LIR Project.”

The culminating project will be a music/arts festival to be held in downtown Marietta featuring music performances by various college and public/private school ensembles, visual art shows and theatre scenes. The goal is to make the community and schools increasingly aware of the many benefits of music and the arts.

“With the guidance of Donna Collins, the students selected for the project will develop a panel of individuals to present a panel discussion at the 2017 Marietta College Leadership Conference,” said Marshall Kimball, Chair of the College’s Music Department. “This panel discussion will address the educational benefits of music and the arts in the educational setting and its impact on the economics of the community.”

Collins has received the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award from Americans for the Arts; Distinguished Fellow and Arts Administration Awards by the Ohio Art Education Association; VSA Ohio's Fran Bay Award; Executive Director recognition from the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network in 2003, 2008, 2011 and 2014; and induction into the Ohio Educational Theatre Association's Hall of Fame.

Collins was also honored by the Ohio PTA as a Life Member. Collins lives in Glenford, Ohio, with her husband, Howard. They have three sons: Timothy, Joshua and Ryan.

The Schwartz Leader-In-Residence Program, named in honor of Dr. Stephen W. Schwartz (1940-2006), the longtime dean of the McDonough Center, is designed to infuse leadership across the Marietta College campus. The McDonough Center works collaboratively with a department to bring to campus an outstanding leader in the department’s academic area of interest.

Located in Marietta, Ohio, at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, Marietta College is a four-year liberal arts college. Tracing its roots to the Muskingum Academy begun in 1797, the College was officially chartered in 1835. Today Marietta College serves a body of 1,200 full-time students. The College offers 45 majors and has been listed among Barron’s Best Buys in College Education and Peterson’s Competitive Colleges, and has been recognized as one of the top regional comprehensive colleges by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, as well as one of the nation’s best by