Creative Industry


Kentucky Creative Industry Summit Speakers

Kentucky Creative Industry Summit


Jessica Evans Jessica Evans
Jessica Evans, executive director of the Appalachian Artisan Center, provides administrative leadership including marketing, program development, and strengthening relationships with artists. She works closely with artists and community partners to market the center and its programming, curate exhibits for the gallery and museum, and plan arts-focused events. Jessica, a Boyd County native, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from East Tennessee State University in 2006.


Beth Flowers Beth Flowers
Beth Flowers has more than 20 years of executive level experience with nonprofits, government agencies, broadcast media and the arts. She is a visionary thinker and a talented communicator. Beth has created messaging for victorious political candidates and issues, inspired citizen participation in government, managed public planning efforts, repositioned struggling organizations and developed innovative programming that connects people. Beth is a national leader in the field of arts professional development and a sought-after keynote speaker. As the creator and director of the AIR Institute of Berea College, she is at the forefront of connecting artists and creatives to their communities in new ways that truly raise the value of art and creativity. Beth is a voracious reader, cook, gardener and singer. She had 10 years of classical piano training and played in the 1983 Montreaux Jazz Festival with the University City High School Jazz Band. Beth is still working on a multigenerational novel about midwestern women musicians and strives to understand string theory.


Jim Grace Jim Grace
Jim Grace is the executive director of the Arts & Business Council in Boston, Mass. Previously he was the executive director of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts (VLA) from 1998 until 2008, when it merged with the A&BC. Jim has experience working with artists and arts organizations in the areas of publishing law, public art, copyright, legacy planning, nonprofit incorporation and mergers, negotiation training and artist live/work and nonprofit board issues. Jim was an adjunct professor for Boston University’s Master of Arts Administration Program for more than five years where he co-taught a course on legal issues in arts administration. In addition, Jim is a working author, book editor and publishing attorney. He is the co-author of the best-selling “The Worst Case Scenario Handbook: Golf.” To date he has been involved in the publication of more than eight books. Jim serves on the board of the Brookline Community Foundation and served on the board of the Associated Grant Makers and the Private Sector Council of Americans for the Arts. He is also a founding board member of the Arts Services Coalition and a former founding board member of the Fort Point Cultural Coalition.


Elaine Grogan Luttrull Elaine Grogan Luttrull
Elaine Grogan Luttrull, CPA-PFS, AFC®, is the founder of Minerva Financial Arts, a company devoted to building financial literacy and empowerment in creative individuals and organizations. Her workshops and presentations have been featured nationally by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, Americans for the Arts, the Arts & Business Council of New York, the College Art Association, Playwrights of New York, the Lark Play Development Center, Theatre Communications Group, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory of Music, Rhode Island School of Design, the Ohio Art League, the Ohio Arts Council, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the City of Bloomington and the Foundation Center.

Elaine teaches at the Columbus College of Art & Design, where she served as the department head for Business & Entrepreneurship from 2014-18. Previously, Elaine served as the director of financial analysis for The Juilliard School and in the Transaction Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young in New York.

Elaine is the author of “Arts & Numbers” and a regular contributor to Professional Artist magazine. She is based in Columbus, Ohio, where she serves on the boards of the Short North Alliance, Social Ventures and the Financial Therapy Association.


Joanna Hay Joanna Hay
Joanna Hay is a musician, oral history filmmaker, arts consultant and exhibit designer. Her varied background includes community arts leadership, cultural arts and tourism projects, oral history documentation, documentary films, musical performance and product development (DVDs, CDs and online multimedia products). Her clients are museums, historic sites, universities, cultural organizations and artists. A former outreach director with the Kentucky Arts Council, she is a Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholar and a published author. She serves on the boards of Hands Healing HeArts, the Speed Art Museum and the Kentucky Author Forum.


Heather Pontonio Heather Pontonio
Heather Pontonio is the senior program director at the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) where she oversees the national art program portfolio focused on professional practices for both artists and contemporary art curators. EHTF’s signature grant programs include Support for Artists Careers and the prestigious Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. She has been instrumental in launching Artists Thrive, a national tool to assess and improve conditions for artists across the country, and Exhibitions on the Cusp, a year-long online periodical that features stories from the Exhibition Award archive as a discussion platform for the progressive advancement of contemporary art.

Prior to the Tremaine Foundation she was the associate vice president of grants at the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and began her career in New York City at the Little Orchestra Society, Irish Repertory Theatre and Cherry Lane Theatre. Heather currently serves on the Grantmakers in the Arts’ Support for Individual Artists Committee and is board president for the Bethel Education Foundation. She was a 2015 P.L.A.C.E.S. fellow with The Funders’ Network. Heather has a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in arts administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia.


Jennifer A. Reis Jennifer A. Reis
Jennifer A. Reis, currently coordinator/faculty of Morehead State University’s arts entrepreneurship minor program and owner of Make Do: Creative Entrepreneurship Training, is an entrepreneur, artist, educator and gallery director who has more than 25 years’ experience in arts business and administration. She is a trained facilitator for programs such as the AIR Institute of Berea College, Etsy’s Craft Entrepreneurship Program, Kauffman FastTrac and CoreFour entrepreneurship courses, and consults for community development, trade and cultural organizations including the Kentucky Arts Council, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development and the Association for Creative Industries. Jennifer’s artistic practice in hand-stitched textiles has been honored with numerous awards, including Kentucky’s Al Smith Fellowship, national adjudicated and invitational exhibitions, and teaching opportunities at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design, Society of Contemporary Craft and the Southwest School of Art.


Sarah Schmitt Sarah Schmitt
Sarah Schmitt is the oral history administrator for the Kentucky Oral History Commission, a program dedicated to reaching across the state to record and conserve the diverse stories that are a part of Kentucky’s rich and colorful history. Such a task fits well with her desire to know the whole picture. Show her a portrait of a great leader and she not only will find the subject interesting, but also will want to fill in the missing details. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and history and a master’s degree in folk studies, both from Western Kentucky University.


Doris Thurber Doris Thurber
Doris Thurber, an artist and Community Scholar, lost her daughter to a heroin/fentanyl overdose in 2015. Over the next year, she poured herself and her feelings into large collages, pieced together from photos, writings and other memorabilia. Through these activities, Doris realized that creativity might be used as a tool for healing from grief and other types of trauma. Doris and other Frankfort artists devised an arts-based program, Hands Healing HeArts, for women in the process of recovering from drug addiction. The program is embedded in Franklin County Drug Court as a mandated component for eligible participants. In 2017, the group established a program called YES Arts which utilizes the arts to address substance abuse prevention for youth.

For more information, contact:

Emily B. Moses
Executive Staff Advisor

Page Last updated: November 29, 2018
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