Ruby Lopez Harper

Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement for Americans for the Arts
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Mexican, Mother, Wife, Dancer, Photographer, Poet and Social Justice Warrior, Ruby Lopez Harper is the Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement for Americans for the Arts. Her portfolio includes leading field education efforts centered in equitable practice, leadership development, local arts advancement, disaster preparedness and emergency response and community building for the arts agency field, arts and culture administrators, and arts marketers.

She is the chief architect of the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, leads AFTA’s Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Network and the Leadership Forum program that produces affinity-based leadership development programs. She is a mentor for the Arts Administrators of Color Network. Ruby’s work has focused on equitable access, grantmaking, supporting individual artists, community development, economic development, cultural tourism, marketing, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and public art.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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