ARTS STRATEGIC ADVISOR & ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Laura Callanan was appointed Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in 2014, and currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to the agency. As a Scholar in Residence at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Laura authored three MBA case studies featuring James Houghton, founding artistic director of Signature Theatre in New York; Theaster Gates and his community development activities on the South Side of Chicago; and Deborah Cullinan, executive director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco which are available through the Harvard Business Review. She was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship to continue this work on artist social entrepreneurs. Laura was previously a consultant with McKinsey & Company, a Senior Adviser at the United Nations Development Programme, Executive Director of The Prospect Hill Foundation, and Associate Director at The Rockefeller Foundation.
How will you stay the best?
Listening. Being as open as possible. Trying new things even when it’s uncomfortable.
What fascinates you?
Anytime anyone is very, very good at what they do no matter what it is. The fact that great artists and creatives have an entirely unique and recognizable signature in what they do. You walk into a room and you can distinguish something by Andy Warhol from something by Pablo Picasso. To be that unique in the world amazes me.