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Leslie Donaldson

Leslie Donaldson

Assistant Teaching Professor of Arts Management

Leslie joins the MAM Program having spent twenty years in the arts management field, designing educational programs and leading complex initiatives to support the work of arts organizations, artists, creative entrepreneurs, and community stakeholders.

She has served in senior leadership roles at Interlochen Center for the Arts, first as Director of Interlochen’s College of Creative Arts and most recently as Director of Engagement. Leslie also served the arts and cultural community in Michigan’s state capital, including an extensive tenure as Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. During that time, she built programs to help artists grow in their creative practices and worked with governmental partners to design and lead a regional cultural economic development initiative. She mentored artists, cultural leaders, and college students in their creative careers, and built a formal internship program between her organization and Michigan State University’s Residential College for Arts and Humanities. In addition, Leslie founded two contemporary arts and performance venues for arts incubation and community revitalization efforts, led two large-scale arts festivals, and educated legislators, community stakeholders, and business leaders on the impact of the arts.

Leslie brings extensive experience as an educator, artist, arts consultant, community-builder, and grant administrator to the MAM Program. She is frequently tapped as a juror, speaker, and mentor for emerging artists and has served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in both the Department of Art, Art History and Design, and the College of Arts and Letters’ Arts and Cultural Management program. Trained as a visual artist and musician, Leslie holds her Master of Fine Arts in painting/printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art from Michigan State University. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Rhode Island, and Michigan and she has been an artist-in-residence and fellow at Oxbow and Vermont Studio Center.

Courses Taught

  • 93-832 - Arts & Community Development
  • 93-846 - Cultural Policy & Advocacy in the US
  • 93-808 - Exhibitions Management
  • 93-827 - External Relations: Fundraising and Institutional Giving
  • 93-807 - Museum Operations
  • 93-809 - Public Art
  • 90-739 - Systems Synthesis I

Additional Information