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SJCA November Virtual Connection Session w/ Guest Speakers Michelle Higgins and Monica Williamson, SMU DataArts

  • 11/04/2020
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom

Registration is closed

Get connected with  the South Jersey cultural community and SJCA every month at our Virtual Connection Session featuring guest speakers you choose, SJCA updates, and an open forum for questions and sharing - so bring your questions!

This month we welcome Michelle Higgins and Monica Williamson from SMU|DataArts, who will present Community Conversations: Sustainability for the Long Haul, a discussion and workshop based on "In it for the Long Haul,” a 2020 report co-authored by Zannie Voss of SMU DataArts and Jill Robinson of TRG Arts. The report provides analyses of financial projections during the pandemic and scenario planning considerations for the arts sector.

We invite you to join us on November 4 to discuss the implications of this research, ideate how to encourage ourselves and organizations in our communities as we continue to think strategically and plan ahead, and examine key indicators of strategic success. Following a brief presentation of research findings, participants will join small breakout groups for in-depth discussion.

Not an SJCA member? Not a problem! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend SJCA's Virtual Connection Sessions.

Questions? Contact Julie Hain, Director, Membership and Programs at SJCA.

Download the full "In it for the Long Haul" and Discussion Guides here:


Discussion Guide_Leadership Teams.pdf


Michelle Higgins is an arts management professional working in the greater Philadelphia area. She currently serves as the Manager of Strategic Engagement for DataArts, a data and research center under the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, where she leverages strategic partnerships across the country to increase the visibility and utility of the organization’s tools and resources. Prior to this role, she initiated international partnerships for four years at the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest as the Director of Cultural Affairs, and has also taught music in public schools. A native of the greater Atlanta area, she completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Georgia and is currently an MBA candidate at Southern Methodist University.

Michelle lives in Collingswood, NJ, with her husband Joe (Director of Bands at Rowan University) and daughter Eden. She has served on the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission since 2018.

Monica Williamson serves as the Engagement Associate for SMU DataArts, where she works to deepen user connection and awareness of SMU DataArts resources and tools among arts and cultural organizations. She also serves as a facilitator and moderator within their many regional Cultural Data Networks. Before joining the SMU DataArts team, Monica worked as a leader for student success and outreach efforts in the Multicultural Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, within the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. She specifically supported underrepresented minority students in areas of success and retention, and continues to serve as a mentor to many college students. Her passion has been to serve communities that have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in many capacities and to be a champion of diversity and inclusion, specifically in the world of higher education, arts and culture.

A Texas native, Monica received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Communication Studies at Texas Tech University, and holds a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Dr. Zannie Voss is Director of SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research and Professor of Arts Management in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business. She served as Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU for ten years.  Prior to joining the SMU faculty, she was a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, developing and co-producing more than a dozen new plays and musicals, two of which ran on Broadway and national tour. 

She has served as a consultant to numerous grantmakers and national arts service organizations.  Zannie has published articles examining the strategic factors that influence organizational performance in leading academic journals in marketing and management. She currently serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, TRG Arts, the Dallas Symphony, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and TACA, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Commission on the Arts.

Jill Robinson, CEO of TRG Arts, sets the global strategic vision for the international management consulting firm that works with arts and cultural organizations seeking to build resiliency through transformative operational practices. As an entrepreneur and leadership expert, Jill inspires arts and cultural chief executives from around the world through TRG’s summits, webinars and blog, and has presented at countless industry conferences. She serves on the faculty at Southern Methodist University’s Master of Arts Administration/Masters of Business Administration program. Jill is a true believer in the power of arts and culture to transform individuals and communities.

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