Diane Ragsdale

Diane Ragsdale at the Arts Alliance Illinois 2010 members’ meeting and reception, June 2010.

Diane Ragsdale spent six years as a program officer in performing arts for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2004–10), where she had primary responsibility for theater, dance, and technology-related strategies and grants. Before joining the foundation, Ragsdale served as managing director of the contemporary performing arts center On the Boards (Seattle) and executive director of a destination music festival in the resort town of Sandpoint, Idaho. Prior work includes stints at the Sundance Film Festival, the Seattle Film Festival, Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD USA, and Bumbershoot, the arts festival in Seattle. Ragsdale is a frequent panelist, “provocateur,” and keynote speaker at arts conferences (notable addresses include “Surviving the Culture Change” and “The Excellence Barrier”) and she has contributed articles to several publications, including “Recreating Fine Arts Institutions” in the fall 2009 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is currently pursuing a PhD in cultural economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and researching the impact of economic forces on nonprofit regional theaters in the United States since the 1980s.

In February 2009, Ragsdale participated in “Creating New Work for Theater,” a panel discussion on the national system of new play development, held at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Other participants included Todd London of New Dramatists, Victoria Bailey of Theatre Development Fund, David Dower of Arena Stage, and moderator Ben Pesner.


Rajagopalan, associate artistic director and principal dancer of Chicago’s Natya Dance Theatre, discusses her perspective on co-authorship—one that stands in relation to a time-honored form.

As part of Pasión y Arte’s Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, International House Philadelphia will host a screening of Flamenco Hoy by the celebrated film maestro Carlos Saura.

Questions of Practice

WXPN general manager Roger LaMay talks with us about how digital platforms have shifted the role of curation in radio, the importance of collaboration in reaching new audiences, and what distinguishes WXPN from other media outlets.

A number of ongoing and recently completed Center-funded projects have filled theater houses and garnered extensive media coverage.

The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum is committed to supporting local composers and developing new markets for their music.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Toshi Reagon has collaborated with top innovators across a wide spectrum of the entertainment field for nearly 30 years. Reagon served as an LOI panelist in Performance in 2015.

“What is an author?” It is a question the composer George Lewis asks, via Foucault, in his keynote essay for our Questions of Practice series on co-authorship in artistic practice.

A new play by Kira Obolensky demonstrated how family stories are passed on through generations.

Grants & Grantees

On view in late 2013, the Institute of Contemporary Art’s comprehensive survey of Rhoades’ all-embracing vision was organized around four room-sized sculptures dating from 1993 to 2006.

Over its 18-year history, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Lively Arts Series has engaged local and national artists to share their work with the college and surrounding Blue Bell community.

Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, produced two programs that explored contrasts among Iberian musical cultures in the mid-17th century.

Founded in 1986, Sruti promotes and presents Indian classical music and dance to educate the greater Philadelphia community on the importance of Indian arts.