Volume 23, Number 11 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 21 - 27, 2010
Sam Miller has been picked to serve as the new president of the L.M.C.C.
New LMCC pres Miller has a passion for the arts
BY Aline Reynolds
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a nonprofit arts and culture organization that sponsors art events and supports artists through grants and advocacy, ushered in Sam Miller as its new president on July 7.
As L.M.C.C. president, Miller aims to work with various partner groups to strengthen the organization’s already rich cultural programs that offer broad-ranging support of the arts. “I’m talking with other Downtown partners about additional spaces that would allow us to improve both our residency and public programming,” he said.
Among the partners of the L.M.C.C. are real estate owners who provide workspace and international residencies to artists in various fields; city and state cultural councils that assist in administering grants in the arts; and organizations like Fractured Atlas, which offers affordable health insurance to artists, and Creative Capital, which holds training workshops in how to sustain artistic careers.
“I hope to develop a strategic vision for L.M.C.C. that will make us really a catalytic partner with key stakeholders in the community in the years ahead,” Miller said. “There’s a tremendous demand and appetite for our grants and professional development programs. I’d like to work with our current and new partners in continuing to meet that need.”
Miller follows in his parents’ footsteps. His mother was the founding member and manager of the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, and his father became managing director of the company soon thereafter. Miller acted in some theatrical productions as a boy and later worked behind the scenes for his parents at the theater.
After graduating from Wesleyan with a theater major, Miller dove into arts management, working as a manager of C.E.T.A., a ballet company in Arizona. He has stuck with arts leadership and advocacy ever since.
“Exposure to the arts has been a transformative experience that is essential to the way I live my life,” he said.
Miller soon became an innovator and master of his field. He directed the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts, transforming it from a summer program into an international year-round dance center. He was the executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts for ten years, spearheading new programs such as the National Dance Project, the Creative Economy Initiative and the Favorite Poem Project.
Miller then served as president of Leveraging Investments in Creativity, where he led the way in raising funds and improving artists’ living and working space in communities around the country.
In 2009 he founded the O.A.M. Company, an arts consulting and producing organization, where he worked with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on dance and theater program strategies.
Miller stays loyal to his alma mater. He recently helped create a new graduate program at Wesleyan, the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, for those who want to learn the ropes of art curating and artist advocacy in a school setting.
“In my research and work in the field, I discovered that there is no advanced training for development of curatorial practices as they could be applied in the performing arts,” he said. “There’s a real need for an informed, creative group of individuals who work with artists to get their work to the public.”
L.M.C.C.’s Board Chair, Cherrie Nanninga, deems Miller well equipped to handle the job.
“Sam Miller has a wealth of experience working with artists and arts organizations, and in leveraging the arts to support the broader community,” said Nanninga in a statement. “We look forward to working with him as he leads L.M.C.C. in its next phase of growth, building on an already stellar record of presenting, supporting and advocating for arts and culture.”