Sep 14, 2012 View All News

NJPAC Adds Industry Leader to Senior Management Staff

Donna Walker-Kuhne, the nation’s “foremost expert on audience diversification” appointed NJPAC’s new Marketing Vice President



Donna Walker-Kuhne, the nation’s “foremost expert on audience diversification” appointed NJPAC’s new Marketing Vice President

Newark, NJ (September 14, 2012) – The New Jersey Performing Arts Center announced today that Donna Walker-Kuhne has joined its senior management staff as Vice President, Marketing. Acknowledged as the nation’s “foremost expert on audience diversification” by the Arts & Business Council, Ms. Walker-Kuhne is an accomplished arts administrator and adult educator who has devoted her professional career to increasing the accessibility and connection to the arts by the nation’s rapidly growing multicultural population. She has begun her tenure at NJPAC on a part-time basis, coming aboard full-time in November.

Since 1984, Ms. Walker-Kuhne has been President of Walker International Communications Group, through which she conducts seminars and workshops and provides marketing consultation services to arts organizations, performing and visual artists, dance companies, Broadway and off-Broadway productions, and non-profit groups. Her clients have included: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Caribbean Cultural Center, The Apollo Theater, The Sphinx Organization, Sony/BMG Music, WNYC Radio, the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, Dance USA, and the Broadway productions of Stick Fly, A Streetcar Named Desire, Thurgood, and August Wilson’s Radio Gulf. Walker International Communications Group will continue operations under new leadership continuing to provide audience development and group sales services to nonprofit and commercial enterprises.

The author of Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to Arts, Culture and Community, published in 2005, Ms. Walker-Kuhne has seen the book become a top-selling, invaluable resource for today’s nonprofit arts marketers, producers, and students.

“This is a huge coup for NJPAC,” said John Schreiber, the Arts Center’s President and CEO. “No one is more respected in the arts community than Donna Walker-Kuhne. She is a great communicator and possesses a deep understanding of how to attract audiences across a widely-diverse spectrum. Donna is a strategic thinker, partnership-builder, and passionate advocate for the arts and entertainment. She is the perfect fit to help us share with the world the multiple missions we pursue at NJPAC.”

From 1993 through 2002, Ms. Walker-Kuhne served as Director of Marketing and Audience Development for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Joseph Papp Public Theater where she originated a range of audience development activities that positively affected thousands of children, students, and adults in multicultural communities throughout the five boroughs of New York City. She also served as the Public Theater’s National Coordinator for Community Outreach for its 32-city tour of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, effectively increasing audiences across the country by more than 20% with her community-based marketing campaigns in urban markets. Prior to her position at The Public, Ms. Walker-Kuhne was Director of Marketing for The Dance Theatre of Harlem.

“I am delighted to enter this new chapter in my career taking leadership for marketing at NJPAC with the goal of translating the vision of great colleagues like John Schreiber and David Rodriguez (NJPAC’s Executive Producer and Vice President),” said Ms. Walker-Kuhne. “It is very exciting and challenging. Coming to NJPAC provides an opportunity for me to bring all my skills, passion and many years of experience in the nonprofit and commercial arena to one place, one home. The synergy of marketing coupled with a deeper engagement of multicultural and multigenerational audiences at this world class venue is something I am very excited about. I look forward to welcoming current and new audiences to NJPAC, a beautiful jewel and oasis of arts, culture and entertainment in New Jersey.”

Ms. Walker-Kuhne’s career began as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the State of New York, while she danced professionally part-time with the Najwa Dance Corps. She credits her law background for her ability to carry innovative programs to successful outcomes. Ms. Walker-Kuhne received her Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law, Washington, DC, and Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University in Chicago.

“Donna Walker-Kuhne is a brilliant strategist and an impassioned communicator,” said playwright/director George C. Wolfe, past Artistic Director the New York Shakespeare Festival/Joseph Papp Public Theater. “She is passionate about institutions which nurture culture and has an incredible track record on building coalitions, crossing boundaries, and helping cultural institutions soar.”

“NJPAC has made a great choice in naming Donna Walker-Kuhne to its senior marketing position,” said John Haworth, Director, National Museum of the American Indian in New York. “Donna is an extraordinary leader in the arts and cultural sector who has a solid results-driven track record for moving arts organizations to even higher levels of recognition. She has enormous capacity for connecting diverse sectors of a community toward common purpose. NJPAC has such a central role in building the community it serves, and Donna will certainly help advance this important objective.”

Ms. Walker-Kuhne is an Adjunct Professor instructing in Marketing the Arts at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Bank Street College, and New York University. She has been nominated for the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World Fellowship” to expand funding for an intensive certificate program she developed and offered for Fordham University entitled “Arts Marketing and Program Development for Multicultural Arts Administrators.”

She has lectured internationally and is the recipient of a multitude of honors including recognition by The Network Journal as one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business and most recently, the 2011 Vanguard Award and 2012 Women of Excellence Award from the National Action Network. She is also a recipient of the SGI-USA Liberty Award, from a worldwide peace organization for which she volunteers as Vice Director for New York. She also sits on a variety of committees and boards including The Theater at Riverside Church, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and The International Theater and Literacy Project. She is Vice-Chair of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey -- where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over 6 million visitors (more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.

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