Mollie Quinlan-Hayes (formerly Mollie Lakin-Hayes) joined South Arts in early 2006. South Arts is one of the nation’s six regional arts organizations, and is a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts. As Deputy Director for Programs and Accessibility Coordinator, she works with all South Arts programs, the board, member state arts agencies and other partners to advance Southern vitality through the arts. She manages South Arts’ portfolio of programs and helps to guide strategic planning and evaluation. She has overseen the design and implementation of programs including Performing Arts Discovery: American Sounds, introducing international music programmers to jazz and traditional musicians from the South; the Dance Touring Initiative, developing new dance presenters and building audiences for modern dance and contemporary ballet; Presenting 101, a curriculum used at all three regional performing arts conferences; the South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships for visual artists; and a number of startup and one-time projects involving arts education research, Jazz Road, the Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft and Traditional Arts touring exhibit, and partnering to produce Beyond Big Cities: Creative Placemaking in Southern Small Towns and Rural Communities conference in 2018. She is director of South Arts’ national initiative ArtsReady, providing business continuity planning and emergency preparedness for arts organizations. She serves as co-chair of the Steering Committee of the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response, and is on the Steering Committee of the national Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) Project. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of the Georgia Arts Network.
Prior to moving to Atlanta, she served as Acting Director, Assistant Director and Accessibility Coordinator of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the state arts agency. While there she managed the Commission’s UP/Understanding Participation project, working with Commission staff and partners in the field to build participation in the arts and understand the value created by arts participation; transitioned the agency to a web-based grant application system; assisted in the development and launch of Arizona ArtShare, the state’s arts endowment; and coordinated the annual Southwest Arts Conference. She was a founding board member of Alliance for Audience/ShowUp.com, which worked to engage new audiences while dramatically raising awareness of the breadth of the Phoenix region’s arts and cultural offerings; and of ARTability/Accessing Arizona’s Arts, a consortium which connects people with disabilities with arts experiences. She revived and staffed the Arizona Presenters Alliance. She served as Communications Chair on the Board of the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education. She also served the Commission as Presenting and Touring Director where she co-directed Arizona Dance on Tour, and as Public Information/Locals Director; and served as Interim Director of Arizonans for Cultural Development (now Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts), the state arts advocacy organization.
Mollie is a 2015 inaugural class graduate of Executive Arts and Culture Strategy through the University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies. Mollie has served as a guest speaker, consultant and panelist for many organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Grantmakers in the Arts, Americans for the Arts, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Leadership Exchange for Arts and Disability, Dance/USA, Alternate ROOTS, Council of American Jewish Museums, Georgia Council for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Carolina Arts Commission, Arizona Presenters Alliance, Kentucky Arts Council, Louisiana Division of the Arts, the League of Historic American Theatres, Dance/NYC, Arizona State University, Georgia Arts Network, Southwest Arts Conference and Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.
Previously she worked with Arizona Center, a downtown Phoenix mixed-used development; as Audience Development Coordinator for the Herberger Theater Center; and with Shelley Berman Communicators, a full-service advertising agency. Mollie is a trained facilitator (including Technology of Participation practices) and consultant, working with a variety of organizations in strategic planning, participation-building, and understanding the value they can and do create. She has served as a professional audio describer, providing description of live and recorded events for people with vision loss; and is trained in Critical Response, a process through which artists receive response and input on new work. She crafts glass art and jewelry in Atlanta as Southern Flameworks, is married to Michael Quinlan, and has a daughter, Chandra Lakin.
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