Join the Aspen Institute’s Conversations with Great Leaders Series, in Memory of Preston Robert Tisch, and the Aspen Institute Arts Program for an in-person and livestreamed discussion between Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer at Lincoln Center, and the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary, on the importance of cultural leadership and their experiences in building and sustaining fellowship, trust, and community in challenging times.
Shanta Thake is the Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Prior to Lincoln Center, she held the position of Associate Artistic Director / Director of Artistic Programs at The Public Theater, overseeing the growth and development of Public Works, Mobile Unit, Under the Radar, Joe’s Pub, The Shakespeare Initiative and Public Forum. Previously, she spent 10 years as the Director of Joe’s Pub, the intimate cabaret venue which hosts over 700 shows annually and is consistently hailed as one of New York City’s most prestigious venues for both emerging and established artists. In addition, Ms. Thake is the co-director of GlobalFEST, North America’s world music festival and non-profit organization whose mission is to foster cultural exchange and to increase the presence of world music in diverse communities nationwide, and in this role received the William Dawson award for Programmatic Excellence. Thake has served as the co-chair for The Association of Performing Arts Professionals conference in 2019 and 2020.
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 182-year-old institution, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. She is a Past President of the American Academy of Religion, which annually hosts the world’s largest gathering of scholars of religion. Jones arrived at Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and Chair of the University’s Program in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the author of several books including Trauma and Grace and, most recently, her memoir Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World. Jones, a popular public speaker, is sought by media to comment on major issues impacting society because of her deep grounding in theology, politics, women’s studies, economics, race studies, history, and ethics.
The Aspen Institute is grateful to Steve Tisch, Laurie Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and to the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund for their generous support of this program.
This event is produced in partnership with the Aspen Institute Arts Program.