Inaugural Leadership Arts Institute Class of 2016

Business Council for the Arts (BCA) is a nonprofit organization founded in Dallas in 1988 to create partnerships between local businesses and the arts to enhance quality of life and economic growth for the region.

BCA created the Leadership Arts Institute (LAI), which is essentially a school where local business, academic and art professionals receive training and work together to promote the arts. Dallas County has already seen 27 years and over 1,000 graduates of the LAI program.

A 2014 grant from the King Foundation led to the expansion of the Leadership Arts Institute into Collin and Denton Counties. Recently, the inaugural LAI class of 2016 was named. This class meets at various arts venues, universities and businesses throughout North Texas to participate in training and discussions. Undoubtedly, these are the faces of people who will continue to grow and shape the arts community here in Collin and Denton Counties.

The Leadership Arts Institute Class of 2016 includes:

  • Alex Hargis, executive director of the Historic Downtown Plano Association
  • Barbara Mason, artist and owner of Dragonfly Studio Creations; owner and practitioner of Sound Integrity (an ultrasound service company)
  • Emily Bailey, private banking officer with Frost Bank
  • Eric Levy, senior attorney with Gardere
  • Karen Davis, executive director of the Chamberlain Performing Arts
  • Michele Hanlon, assistant dean of undergraduate studies for the School of Arts and Humanities for UTD
  • Michelle Hawkins, administrator of arts, culture and heritage for the City of Plano
  • Robert Bruu, senior director of order operations with Intel Security; multimedia artist
  • Sara Akers, founder and executive director of Plano Children’s Theatre and the North Texas Performing Arts
  • Terri Ricketts, public affairs manager Texas region for Progressive Waste Solutions and former president of the McKinney chamber of commerce
  • Thomas Philippi, AIA & LEED AP, design director for Gensler
  • Heather Pauzer, human resources director for the Republic Property Group

BCA has already begun accepting applications for the Collin and Denton Counties 2017 class.

Leadership Arts Institute Website >


Photo at top shows members of the 2016 LAI class with esteemed art curator and subject expert Patricia Meadows at the Hall Office Park campus.

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