Brett Egan

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Opening Plenary

Brett Egan provides planning and training services for arts and culture organizations in the United States and around the world. He specializes in strategic planning; succession planning; capital campaigns; annual fundraising; fundraising campaigns; community-based practice; human resource development; board development; and institutional and programmatic marketing.

Recent representative clients include the Apollo Theater (New York City); Sundance Institute (Los Angeles and Park City); National Public Radio Foundation (Washington, D.C.); Doha Center for Creative Industry (Doha, Qatar); American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA); The National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.); The September 11 National Memorial and Museum (New York City); Motown Museum (Detroit, MI); Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (San Jose, CA); KERA (PBS/NPR North Texas; Dallas); Outfest (Los Angeles); International Center for Photography (NYC); Women in Film (Los Angeles); Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; the Longhouse at Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA); Hi-Arts/Hip Hop Theater Festival (NYC); Arts for LA (Los Angeles, CA); Cornerstone Theater (Los Angeles, CA); Center for Asian American Media (San Francisco, CA); Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA); Memphis Symphony Orchestra (Memphis, TN); National Black Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA); and From the Top (Boston, MA).

As needed, he partners with clients to provide interim leadership while permanent leadership is sought. For instance, in 2011 and 2012, Mr. Egan served as Interim CEO of the Royal Opera House Muscat (Oman), working with local leadership to open this first-of-its-kind institution on the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Egan led the organization through a successful first season with performances by Renée Fleming and Andrea Bocelli; the Mariinsky Ballet, La Scala Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre; the Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; and four operas including Franco Zeffirelli's Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot and the world premiere of a new Carmen commissioned and produced by the Royal Opera House. The inaugural season attracted a diverse audience of Omanis and expatriates with average attendance at 92 percent of seating capacity. In 2013, Mr. Egan again supported the Opera House in its development of the first library of musical arts and education on the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Egan’s tenure ended with a successful transition of responsibility to the institution’s first permanent CEO.

From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Egan served as Executive Director of the New York-based modern dance company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, which toured an average of two dozen cities worldwide each year, was a Kennedy Center resident company, and was a principal contributor to the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. Prior to 2006, Mr. Egan worked with a variety of cultural organizations including Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the Annie Leibowitz Studio, and Santa Fe Opera.

Mr. Egan is the co-author, with Michael M. Kaiser, of The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations (2013).

Mr. Egan is a frequent guest at national and international conferences, speaking on a range of topics from audience engagement and fundraising to the role and impact of new media in arts management today. He regularly facilitates discussions amongst diverse stakeholders on behalf of regional and national foundations to identify common interest and deliver strategic direction, often at the intersection of cultural practice and broader civic concerns.

Mr. Egan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Cultural and Performance Theory, received the Antarctic Service Medal and a Princess Grace Fellowship (Monaco), and wrote a travel guide on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He is a trained actor and theater director and, throughout his upbringing in Long Beach, California, studied classical piano theory and performance.

He and his wife, Joan, and daughters, Bell and Lark, live in Asheville, North Carolina.

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