Arts Management with Mikki Shepard

By Amanda Chambers

This week's episode of Brooklyn Savvy features Mikki Shepard as she discusses the state of art and culture with Toni and the Savvy panelistas. The issues of funding, diversity, and cultural representation are all examined. This enlightening conversation is important for artists and art lovers alike.

“The culture was always [in Brooklyn], but it’s been lifted up.”
— Mikki Shepard

An important part of the conversation regarding the arts is financial funding. A lot of money goes toward more notable organizations, such as the opera, ballet, museums, theater companies, etc. Although Mikki acknowledges the need for money in the arts, she also stresses that taking the time to perfect the content and the work is of highest importance.

Another issue in the arts is a lack of diversity in major
institutions. The reason that art often lacks diversity is that "people are more comfortable with what they're familiar with," she says. Mikki suggests that the solution to this is putting more diverse people in positions of leadership so that the contest changes consequently. There is, however, a difference between integrating an organization and culturally diversifying that organization.

“There’s never been a lot of diversity in our major institutions.”
— Mikki Shepard

Mikki Shepard is the cofounder of 651 ARTS, which is a center in Brooklyn aiming to give African culture and performers a bigger platform. She served as director of the Arts and Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation. She also held the title of Executive Producer at the Apollo Theater for approximately a decade before stepping down last year.

Be sure to tune in to hear the full discussion with Mikki Shepard, Toni, and the Savvy panelistas. Missed the episode yesterday? Don't worry! You can catch it again tonight at 7:30 pm and Thursday at 3:00 pm, or visit us online at