Megan L. Van Voorhis grew up in Flint, Michigan. At an early age she showed both interest and aptitude in the performing arts. Dabbling in music and theatre and ultimately concentrating her artistic practice in the area of movement, she pursued an undergraduate degree in dance from The Ohio State University. Her interest in the administrative aspect of arts and culture led her to pursue graduate coursework in Arts Policy and Administration during her final year of undergraduate study. In 1998, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Magna Cum Laude with Distinction, from The Ohio State University.
Van Voorhis began her professional career at the Royal George Theatre Center in Chicago, Illinois, where her work included box office, front of house, group sales and company management. Eager to strengthen her business skills in service to arts and culture, she returned to Ohio in 2001 to pursue a master’s in business administration at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. In reflecting upon that decision she notes: “Even at Ohio State, I was already thinking about the need for infrastructure to support the talented choreographers and dancers who were studying there at the time. My experience in Chicago only reinforced how important the support system for arts and culture is to its continued vibrancy.”
While at Case Western Reserve University, Van Voorhis received the Holmes Fellowship in Regional Economic Development, which placed her at the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. It was a natural fit given her interest in the arts, business and economic development. Her first projects focused on business training for artists (which became the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute) and a research study on the economic impact of arts and culture. In 2003, Van Voorhis joined the staff as Assistant Director of Programs and Services and gradually worked her way through the ranks to her current position as Chief Operating Officer in 2012.
In Van Voorhis’ 12-year history with the organization she has engaged with every aspect of the organization’s work, including: launching the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute and licensing it to other organizations nationally; working with the Council of Smaller Enterprises to develop a suite of services for artists and arts-based businesses through the COSE Arts Network; launching a first-of-its kind Collaborative Marketing Database in Cleveland to support the audience development activities of the region’s arts and cultural institutions; conducting research on the impact of arts and culture; assisting with public policy activities to secure local public sector funding for arts and culture in Cuyahoga County; developing and managing arts and cultural grantmaking processes in Lake and Cuyahoga Counties; and successfully advocating for an admissions tax exemption for the small live music clubs in Cleveland. Today Van Voorhis provides leadership and direction for the day to day activities at CPAC.
Van Voorhis’ community activities include having served as past president and treasurer of the Westshore Montessori Association and as adjunct faculty member in the arts management program at Baldwin Wallace University. She is a member of the 2014 class of Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 Under 40 honorees.
View blog posts by Megan.
Contact: (216) 575-0331, x123 or Megan [at] cultureforward.org
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