Regina R. Smith, The Kresge Foundation

TITLE: Managing Director, Arts & Culture

FUNDING AREAS: Performing arts, museums, creative spaces, theater

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Regina Smith is one to impress. The longstanding arts expert is the managing director of Arts & Culture at The Kresge Foundation, notable for partnering with artists and organizations specifically focused on revitalizing underserved communities through various arts programs and activities. Among her many responsibilities at The Kresge Foundation, Smith identifies prospects for funding, reviews funding requests, conducts site visits, meets with prospective grantees, and oversees current grant relationships. Quite a busy schedule, but Smith is definitely qualified for the job.

"I bring many years of experience in the arts and cultural field at the local, state, and regional levels to my work at Kresge," Smith says. "This position provides a rewarding opportunity to continue to learn about the field and nonprofit sector, meet new people, and explore new possibilities for how arts and culture can be used to animate our communities." She joined the foundation in 2009 not only for the art, but for the people it serves. "I enjoy working with individuals who are passionate about what they do, and I'm inspired by those who are constantly learning."

The Troy, Michigan-based Kresge Foundation focuses on the role of the arts in revitalizing communities by giving grants to organizations serving low-income and vulnerable populations. Once solely known for its Challenge Grant, an award that assists in major construction and renovation projects, the organization now hosts an array of funding options. Funds are unrestricted and can be used as the recipient sees fit toward meeting its arts objectives. For example, funds can be used toward staffing, new technology, or business-practice development. 

Prior to joining The Kresge Foundation, Smith managed a $12 million grants portfolio at Charlotte, North Carolina's Arts & Science Council. Smith began her career at the Cleveland Children’s Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art as a museum educator after studying arts administration at Winthrop University. She has also worked at several arts organizations across the Midwestern United States, including Culture Works in Dayton, OH, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Indiana Arts Commission. 

Cate Fox, MacArthur Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Chicago arts & culture-- theater, dance, musical groups, museums, exhibitors, and visual arts

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Cate Fox is a senior program officer at the MacArthur Foundation. Her foundation bio shares: 

Cate oversees the arts & culture in the Chicago Commitment program area.
Most recently, Cate served as a senior consultant at The Alford Group, a consulting firm to the nonprofit community. Over nearly seven years with Alford she helped a diverse set of nonprofit organizations, including those in the arts, to evaluate programs, assess organizational strength, conduct strategic planning, and increase fundraising. Previously, Cate worked with the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. to revise their international programs and structure. Prior to that work she held a variety of positions within the nonprofit sector.
Cate received a Master of Arts degree in Peace and Development Studies with first class honors from the University of Limerick (Limerick, Ireland), and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Hollins University (Roanoke, VA). 

Susan Feder, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

What stands out about Susan Feder is not her life-long devotion to music history, criticism, and publishing. It’s not even her unbridled love of music. Above all, Feder is a champion of musicians. You can find her enthusiasm splashed all over the liner notes of notable composers like Phillip Glass and Joan Tower. Notably, she served as editorial coordinator of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians—the musicologist’s 20-volume bible. Before becoming Program Office for the Performing Arts at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2007, she spent twenty years nurturing the careers of composers at G. Schirmer, Inc. It took a seat at Mellon to lure her away from the excitement of working directly with artists and “hearing their music created and sustained by the world’s finest performers.” Today, she continues to gush over (and skyrocket the careers of) emerging composers like Gabriela Lena Frank, whose music she called “extraordinarily life affirming.”
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Jenny Toomey, Ford Foundation

TITLE: Director, Internet Freedom

FUNDING AREAS: Internet freedom, music, media rights and access

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Jenny Toomey is a director at the Ford Foundation. Her foundation bio shares:

Jenny Toomey leads the Internet Freedom team, supporting efforts to preserve the open architecture of the Internet and expand access, transparency, innovation, creativity, and participation.

Jenny is a musician and an advocate for musicians. She co-managed Simple Machines, an independent record label, which produced more than 70 releases. She has also been a composer and performer on 12 CDs and dozens of compilation records and singles and in a musical. After closing down Simple Machines, Jenny worked at the Washington Post as a copywriter. She also wrote music and technology reviews for the Post, the Village Voice, CNET, and music and technology publications.

Her work organizing musicians to support the Federal Communications Commission's low power radio initiative led her to co-found The Machine, an online forum for musicians that focused on the intersection of music and technology. Later, Jenny was instrumental in the formation of the Future of Music Coalition in 2000. As FMC's founding executive director, she testified before both houses of Congress, the FCC, and the US Copyright Office.

Jenny has advocated for the rights of artists and music lovers on five continents and spoken about music and technology at hundreds of institutions and media outlets. She graduated from Georgetown University with an interdisciplinary major in philosophy, English, and women's studies.


Toomey fronted the band Tsunami, one of several in which she has played over the past twenty years. Below is a video of her performing with them in DC in 1992.

Christopher Rouse, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music

TITLE: President

FUNDING AREAS: Performing ensembles, recording, jazz

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Christopher Rouse took over as President of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music in 2010, following John Harbison, who held the position for 13 years. Rouse, as one of the nation's pre-eminent composers, is of course quite suited for the job in terms of assessing compositional talent, with a Pulitzer prize and Grammy award to prove his own. (His own website as a composer has samples of his work.) Rouse heads up the fund's board, made up of other distinguished composers and musicians, including composers Elliott Carter and David Del Tredici, and Yale musicologist Vivian Perlis. The fund aims to "encourage and improve public knowledge and appreciation of contemporary American music," something Rouse has a lifelong commitment to.

Rouse has produced several notable orchestral, wind ensemble and chamber music compositions, known for their pronounced (and notably loud) style. He became the New York Philharmonic's Composer-in-Residence in 2012, and has also served as Composer-in-Residence with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Biennale, and the Aspen Music Festival. He won his Grammy in 2002 for best contemporary composition for his Concert de Gaudi, and his Symphony No. 1 was awarded the Kennedy Center's Friedheim Award in 1998. Another huge win came in 1993 with a Pulitzer prize for his Trombone Concerto.

He has been commissioned by such institutions as the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony, among many others. His music has been performed by every major U.S. orchestra and numerous international ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the Moscow Symphony.

In his work with the fund, Rouse oversees its three grant programs: the recording program, which documents and increases exposure of contemporary composers; the performing ensembles program, which aims to improve public knowledge of and appreciation for serious contemporary music; and the supplemental program, which supports programs dedicated to contemporary American music, but whose needs fall a little outside of the fund's usual scope, such as presenters and music service organizations. If you're not sure your program is eligible, the fund does a great job of defining its requirements in their frequently asked questions

Rouse is clearly interested in spreading the works of contemporary American musicians, and has a long history of learning and teaching. The Baltimore native studied under Richard Hoffmann at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, then went on to Cornell University, studying under Karel Husa. As a student, he won the BMI Student Composer Awards two years in a row.

He later taught at the University of Michigan, where he was also a Junior Fellow in the University's Society of Fellows, then at the Eastman School of Music. Since 2002 he has taught at the Juilliard School in New York City. That same year he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters, where Copland once served as president.

Rouse is also known for expanding the traditional pedagogy of classical music learning to include popular music such as rock 'n' roll, and has cited classic rock band Led Zeppelin as an influence. Some of his notable students include Michael Torke, Kamran Ince, Marc Mellits, Robert Paterson, and Kevin Puts, another Pulitzer-prize winning composer. It's clear that music is Rouse's lifelong passion, and he is commited to fostering that passion in others—and giving them the funds to do so.