Janet Brown

Name: Janet Brown
Title: Adjunct Faculty of Arts Administration
Education: M.P.A., University of South Dakota
B.F.A. Theatre, University of South Dakota
E-mail: brownjl@winthrop.edu
Area(s): Arts administration

Janet Brown is a nationally recognized keynote speaker, workshop leader and facilitator, specializing in governance and leadership, financial sustainability, philanthropic practice, public policy and advocacy, and racial equity in community engagement and services.

Janet recently stepped down as president and CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a national association for private foundations and public agencies. Under her leadership, GIA became nationally recognized for its bold racial equity in arts philanthropy work and its focus on the financial health of the nonprofit sector.

Prior to GIA, Janet was chair of Performing and Visual Arts at Augustana University and taught Public Policy and the Arts at Goucher College, Baltimore, for 13 years (summers only) in the Masters in Arts Administration program. She began her theatre career as an actress and manager in South Dakota and was co-owner of the Deadwood Production Company. She worked in development and management for Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival (Public Theatre and on Broadway) in New York City, The American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco and the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts. She was company manager for the year-long European tour of Ain't Misbehavin' and the assistant company manager for the NY Shakespeare Festival's national tour of Pirates of Penzance.

A registered lobbyist for 15 years, Janet was executive director of South Dakotans for the Arts, a statewide advocacy, service and education organization. In this position, she traveled the region providing management and advocacy assistance to organizations and communities, managed a five-state conference, Art Beyond Boundaries for 13 years, and created the Prairie Arts Management Institute, held at Augustana University for six years, which drew participants from the mid-west and Canada. She was active in the National Community Arts Network, providing technical assistance for statewide service/advocacy organizations throughout America.

She has served on the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and the American Folklife Center boards of directors, and has been a National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities panelist and evaluator. She received the Selina Roberts Ottum award for advocacy from AFTA, the SD Governor's Award in the Arts and several other honors. Janet has an BFA in Theatre and a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota. She continues to consult for nonprofit organizations through her company, Janet Brown and Associates, LLC. She is a boxer and a tennis player with two adult “theatre kids,” a lighting designer and a stage manager.

Courses Taught

ARTA 670: Policy and Advocacy (online)