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.


The members of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s New Spaces / New Formats research group presented 14 experimental music projects in fall 2013.

Malavika Sarukkai, a leading Bharatanatyam dancer who challenges traditions of Indian classical dance, performed at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in April 2014.

Two Center-funded theater pieces premiere on Philadelphia stages in May, from Thaddeus Phillips and Pig Iron Theatre Company, both at FringeArts.

Grants & Grantees

FringeArts presents, develops, and commissions a range of high-quality contemporary performing and visual arts in Philadelphia.

Grants & Grantees

Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus included original music by sound designer Daniel Kluger.

An artist talk with Michael Rakowitz, who will discuss his participatory performance and radio project, A Desert Home Companion.

WXPN is a public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania, best known for its World Cafe music program, distributed by National Public Radio.

“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.

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.

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia performed the regional premiere of Roberto Sierra’s Missa Latina with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Grants & Grantees

Zoe Strauss is a visual artist and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Cesar Garcia is the founding director and chief curator of the Mistake Room, Los Angeles. A curator, writer and educator, Garcia formerly served as the associate director and senior curator of LAXART.