Arts Administration

The goals set out below were accomplished while I was Chair of the Board of the Video Association of Dallas, Inc. (“VAD”), either directly by me or through my initiative with the help of others. I have at times also been an active member of the Boards of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (at that time, the only non-profit, non- artist-run venue in Dallas devoted exclusively to contemporary art) and Zoë Artz Project (a non-profit performance arts organization), but my work for those organizations consisted mainly of legal work and fund raising.

VAD now offers many programs; see its website at Its mission is to foster and exhibit innovative work by artists using video and digital technologies and to promote understanding of such media with respect to both their creative potential and their effects in shaping our ideas and the world. VAD is perhaps best known for the annual Dallas VideoFest, f.k.a. the Dallas Video Festival, the first of which was held in 1988. The Festival is probably the largest of its kind in the U.S. and has been recognized as the “key American video festival” (Neil Seilig, Alive TV).

Prior to my becoming Chair of the VAD Board in 1996, there was no Chair, and the Board was essentially a six-person advisory body. The following were accomplished within two years, 1996-98.


Tripled the Board size, adding business leaders and patrons including: Jeff Smith, founder and CEO of Onramp Technologies, subsequently merged with Verio Technologies; Tim Clott, CEO of Lyrick Studios (producer of the “Wishbone” t.v. program); Claire Collins, a lawyer with a large Dallas firm, who helped produce VAD’s first “Board Book” and helped with fund raising; Will Duff, founder of Audience Research and Development, who compiled and analyzed VAD’s first market research; Diana Block, Director of the North Texas State University art gallery; Steve Alford, founder and CEO of Alford Media, who provided equipment and personnel and became a subsequent Chair; Shelley Barsotti, co-founder and -owner of The Food Company, one of the best caterers in Dallas; Spence Michelin, an advertising pro, founder and CEO of Lulirama International and To Serve Man, Inc.; Sara Hatfield, former director of fund raising for the Dallas Women’s Foundation and subsequent corporate communications director for Centex Corporation; Ellen Kampinski, publications consultant, who became a subsequent Chair; Patrick McCavitt, VAD’s first 500, Inc. liaison (500, Inc. is a charitable organization for the arts); Marlene Meyerson, art patron and philanthropist. Also created an Advisory Board and added several members.

Analyzed and prepared memorandum regarding cost and staffing requirements and recommended fees to enable VAD to offer membership for the first time. Drafted text for membership brochure.

Helped expand fundraising efforts to reach new foundations, corporations, and individual donors. Raised funds in an amount exceeding by 40% VAD's normal annual budget, for the purpose of hiring VAD’s first paid Managing Director.

Organized VAD’s first Board retreat. Helped write successful application for grant to hire professional long-range planner Morrie Warshawski, formerly on the NEA Board, to facilitate re-assessment of VAD's mission and goals. Helped obtain written compilation of results of this effort, including short- and long-range plans.

Recruited volunteer public relations professionals and with their assistance, overhauled fund raising materials, developing solicitation letters for different kinds of donors, sheets showing benefit levels and special-purpose sponsorships, an all-purpose informational flyer, and a KidVid flyer, among other materials.

Drafted market research survey administered at the ‘98 Festival and incorporated into the VAD website. Obtained donated professional compilation and analysis of results.

Organized first VAD booth at ArtFest, a large arts festival organized by 500, Inc., and recruited organizer for subsequent booth.

Instigated production of first promotional video for VAD.

Recruited volunteers to assist with fund raising, market research, program book ad sales, volunteer coordination, and parties relating to the Festival, among other things. Developed and maintained list of VAD volunteers.

Negotiated for Festival venues at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Theater Center and with KERA-TV for the “Frame of Mind” television series.

Amended bylaws to adopt first committee structure for Board, add an Advisory Board, and make other changes in connection with VAD’s expansion. Prepared numerous Board resolutions and other legal documents.

Assembled materials for VAD's first “Board Book”, including policies, fund-raising and other expectations, and forms for evaluation of board members, and helped edit and finalize it.