Karen Brooks Hopkins named fellow of National Center for Arts Research at SMU

Former Brooklyn Academy of Music President Karen Brooks Hopkins named fellow at SMU's NCAR.

Karen Brooks Hopkins

DALLAS (SMU) — The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at SMU has appointed Karen Brooks Hopkins, former president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and currently Senior Fellow in Residence at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as the second NCAR Nasher Haemisegger Fellow, beginning June 2016. 

Karen Brooks Hopkins
Karen Brooks Hopkins

Hopkins will serve both as an intellectual partner and counsel, working with NCAR leadership on the critical issues prevalent in the arts and culture field, as well as an ambassador for the Center, communicating with arts organizations around the country and helping to raise awareness about the Center’s research within the sector.

NCAR, the first research center of its kind in the nation, investigates important issues in arts management and patronage, making its findings available to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers and the general public. Driven by its mission to act as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community, NCAR develops reports based on a uniquely comprehensive set of arts organizations’ data, combined with data on the communities in which they are located. It assesses the industry from multiple perspectives, including sector/art form, geography and size of the organization, and it determines what influences an organization’s health based on the organization’s particular conditions and its community’s characteristics.

Hopkins brings a range of expertise in arts management and cultural planning to this role, including a 36-year tenure at BAM, which saw the transformation of the venue and Brooklyn into a thriving arts complex. Hopkins was president of BAM from 1999 until her retirement in 2015. During this time, she also served as the chair of the New York City Cultural Institutions Group, as a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, and was named one of Crain’s “50 Most Powerful Women.” Hopkins currently serves as the inaugural Senior Fellow in Residence at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is a member of the boards of the Alexander S. Onassis and Jerome L. Greene Foundations, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the Global Cultural Districts Network.

“The NCAR Nasher Haemisegger Fellow plays an integral role in helping NCAR shape and present our findings as well as identify the most pressing questions and issues facing the field,” said Dr. Zannie Voss, director of NCAR. “Karen Brooks Hopkins is one of the most highly regarded arts leaders in the country. Under her leadership, BAM has become the model for a 21st-century performing arts center, and her work continues to have exceptional impact. She has boundless curiosity and a tremendous depth of expertise. We are excited to welcome Karen to NCAR and look forward to her insights and guidance.”

“From a practitioner’s perspective, I fully appreciate the value of NCAR’s contributions to the field,” Hopkins said. “NCAR’s research and analysis is an invaluable resource, helping to inform decision-making to ensure financial value and sustainability of organizations as well as to deepen understanding about the impact of the arts, both in and outside of the sector. I’m looking forward to contributing to this work, following in the footsteps of the talented and incomparable Kate Levin, and sharing the Center’s findings with communities around the country.

“As a life-long arts professional, my supreme goal is to encourage Americans to comprehend that the image of the arts as an elitist pastime for a narrow part of society is an antiquated view of the field. Our sector deserves to be valued at a much higher level for the service it provides to large, diverse populations worldwide.

“Art enhances love of learning, generates the highest tourism dollars and builds and connects communities. Cultural buildings are among our greatest architectural assets and really, when all is said and done, art is the only thing that endures from generation to generation.”

Hopkins’ two-year term, beginning in June 2016, follows the successful tenure of NCAR’s first fellow, Kate D. Levin, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs under the Bloomberg administration and now a principal with Bloomberg Associates. In addition to being an NCAR ambassador from 2014 to 2016, Levin worked with NCAR as a thought partner on a number of research publications, including a white paper on diversity in the arts, reports on the health of the U.S. arts and cultural sector, and most recently NCAR’s 2016 Arts Vibrancy Index, which outlines the 20 most vibrant arts centers around the country. She also shared insights with students, the public and the Dallas arts community as a panelist in several key forums. “She has been an outstanding Fellow, and we are thrilled that she has agreed to continue her relationship with NCAR as an advisory committee member,” said Voss.

“As NCAR’s inaugural Nasher Haemisegger Fellow for the past two years, I’ve gotten to explore the intersections of data, arts advocacy and policymaking with some of the finest researchers in the world,” said Kate D. Levin, principal at Bloomberg Associates and head of the Arts Program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.  “Zannie Voss and her team are setting a new standard with NCAR’s combination of awesome technical ability and profound understanding of nonprofit arts and culture in the U.S.  It’s been an honor and a pleasure, and I look forward to the many ways in which Karen Brooks Hopkins, with her inimitable experience and vision, will turbo-charge NCAR’s reach and impact.”

As president of BAM, Hopkins oversaw the institution’s 230 full-time employees and multi-venue facilities, including the 2,100-seat BAM Howard Gilman Opera House and the 833-seat BAM Harvey Theater. Despite retiring in 2015, Hopkins remains an active leader and influencer in the arts. She served as chair of the Performing Arts Center Consortium, a national association of performing arts centers, from 1994 to 1996. She was also a participant on the advisory committee of the Salzburg Seminar Project of Critical Issues for the Classical Performing Arts from 2000 to 2002 and a fellow of the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation from 2001 to 2002. In 2005, Hopkins received the Encore Award in Arts Management Excellence from the Arts & Business Council of New York, and that same year she chaired the hospitality and tourism cluster of the Initiative for a Competitive Brooklyn.

About NCAR

In 2012, the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business at SMU launched the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR). The Center, the first of its kind in the nation, analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled; investigates important issues in arts management and patronage; and makes its findings available to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers and the general public. The vision of NCAR is to act as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community.

With data from the DataArts Cultural Data Profile and other national and government sources such as the Theatre Communications Group, the League of American Orchestras, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Census Bureau, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the National Center for Arts Research is creating the most complete picture of the health of the arts sector in the U.S. The goals of the Center are to become the nation’s leading source of expertise on: 1) arts attendance and patronage; 2) understanding how managerial decisions, arts attendance, and patronage affect one another; and 3) the fiscal trends and fiscal stability of the arts in the U.S., and to create an in-depth assessment of the industry that allows arts and cultural leaders to make more informed decisions and improve the health of their organizations.

The project’s indices were created in partnership with TRG Arts, Nonprofit Finance Fund and numerous field leaders. NCAR’s dashboard is being created in partnership with IBM. The Center also partnered with the Boston Consulting Group to develop its mission, vision and long-term strategies.

NCAR is led by Dr. Zannie Voss, chair and professor of arts management and arts entrepreneurship in the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, and Dr. Glenn Voss, endowed professor of marketing at Cox School of Business. Through this leadership, NCAR sources its cross-disciplinary academic expertise in the fields of arts management, marketing and statistics from Meadows and Cox faculty.

More than a dozen visionary foundations and individual arts patrons have supported NCAR with financial investments, including the Communities Foundation of Texas, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation, Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, T.J. Brown & C.A. Lupton Foundation/Kit Moncrief, The Tolleson Family Foundation, Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Marilyn Augur, Diane and Hal Brierley, Belle and Donald A. Berg, Molly Byrne, Bess and Ted Enloe, Melissa and Trevor Fetter, Ann and Trey Fielder, Carol and Don Glendenning/Locke Lord LLP, Ann and Lee Hobson, Jeanne R. Johnson, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, Nancy Perot, Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr., Bonnie Pitman, Caren Prothro and Donna Wilhelm.

For more information, please visit the NCAR website at smu.edu/artsresearch.

About the Meadows School of the Arts

The Meadows School of the Arts, formally established at SMU in 1969 and named in honor of benefactor Algur H. Meadows, is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in advertising, art, art history, arts management and arts entrepreneurship, communication studies, creative computation, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music and theatre. The goal of the Meadows School of the Arts, as a comprehensive educational institution, is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art, entrepreneurship and change.

The Meadows School of the Arts is also a convener for the arts in North Texas, serving as a catalyst for new collaborations and providing critical industry research. For more information, visit www.smu.edu/meadows.

About the Cox School of Business 

SMU’s Cox School of Business, originally established in 1920 and named in honor of benefactor Edwin L. Cox in 1978, offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate business education programs. Among them:  BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Business Analytics, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Sport Management, and Executive Education. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, ranging from its Business Leadership Center, Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, Folsom Institute for Real Estate, Latino Leadership Initiative, Maguire Energy Institute and Global Leadership Program to its Associate Board Executive Mentoring Program, and an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries.


Media Contacts:

Victoria Winkelman
Meadows School of the Arts

May Wijaya
Resnicow and Associates