Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Crosby Kemper is the sixth director of Institute of Museum and Library Services. He was commissioned by the White House on January 24, 2020, following his confirmation by the United States Senate. IMLS, an independent government agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s museums and libraries.
Kemper is a dedicated advocate for education and learning for people of all ages and backgrounds. He comes to IMLS from the Kansas City Public Library, where as director, he established the library as one of the city’s leading cultural destinations and a hub of community engagement.
Under his direction, the library made special event programming a high-profile focus, with more than half a million people attending its evening programs or visiting exhibits in the art galleries. During his tenure, the Kansas City Public Library received multiple awards, including IMLS’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2008.
Kemper also recently served as chair of the board of directors of the Schools, Health, & Libraries Broadband Coalition, which supports open, affordable broadband connections for local community organizations.
Kemper’s career began in banking; he most recently served as CEO of UMB Financial Corporation. Kemper has received the Difference Maker Award from the Urban League of Kansas City, the William F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service from William Jewell College, and the 2010 Harmony Humanitarian Hoffman Legacy Award. His board service has included the Kansas City Symphony, the Black Archives of Mid-America, Union Station Kansas City, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, the Rabbit hOle—a center promoting children’s books—and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which operates Monticello.
Kemper is the editor of and a contributor to Winston Churchill: Resolution, Defiance, Magnanimity, Good Will, published by the University of Missouri Press. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University.
Poet and Literary Critic
Adam Kirsch is a poet and literary critic. He is the author of four collections of poems and several books of criticism and biography, including “The Global Novel” and “The People and the Books: Eighteen Classics of Jewish Literature.” He lives in New York City, where he is an editor at the Wall Street Journal’s weekend Review section.
Co-Founder & Catalyst, Slover Linett Audience Research Inc.
Peter Linett co-leads Slover Linett, a social research and evaluation practice that works with arts, culture and community organizations and funders across the U.S., including museums, performing arts venues and ensembles, public media producers, parks and public spaces, public agencies, and national and regional foundations. The firm’s quantitative, qualitative, and co-creative research helps equity-minded changemakers increase access, deepen engagement, and meet needs in their communities. Peter has co-authored research reports on topics as varied as racial and ethnic diversity in public engagement with arts and creativity; creative placemaking outcomes; how to make classical music radio more inclusive; the needs of working musicians during the pandemic; the social impacts of folk and Indigenous arts programs; the role of the arts in higher education; and cultural innovations in science communication. He serves on the editorial board of Curator: The Museum Journal and the board of US/UK art-science organization Guerilla Science. Peter was a founding advisory board member of the Center for the Future of Museums at the American Alliance of Museums and an affiliate of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago. He has been an invited speaker at conferences and symposia of the National Endowment for the Arts, Grantmakers in the Arts, Alliance for the Arts at Research Universities (a2ru), Indiana University’s Center for Cultural Affairs, League of American Orchestras, Science Festival Alliance, Association of Science & Technology Centers, Visitor Studies Association, and the UK-based Arts Marketing Association. He has guest-lectured at Yale’s David Geffen School of Drama and the Getty Leadership Institute. Peter earned his undergraduate degree in music at Yale University and pursued graduate coursework in philosophy of art at the University of Chicago. He loves hiking and whitewater rafting, which explains why—although still based professionally in Chicago—he lives in Santa Fe.
Director, SMU DataArts and Professor, Arts Management, SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business
Dr. Zannie Voss is Director of SMU DataArts and Professor of Arts Management in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business. Zannie’s expertise lies in examining the external factors and internal strategic factors that influence organizational performance. Her 70+ academic and applied research articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals and as professional publications. She has co-authored Theatre Facts for Theatre Communications Group since 1998. Previously, Zannie served as Chair of the Arts Management Department at SMU, a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, where she transferred two productions to Broadway. She currently serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management and the New Orleans Museum of Art, and on advisory groups for projects of the IMLS, National Endowment for the Arts, and One Nation/One Project. She is a former member of the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Commission on the Arts.