About the panelists
Adriane Jefferson is the director of cultural affairs for the city of New Haven. Prior to holding this position, Jefferson was an arts program manager for the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has been an executive in arts administration for more than sixteen years, with a concentration in cultural equity and with expertise in program design, event and media production, grant-making, external affairs, community partnerships, and new program initiatives. Jefferson also specializes in professional development programming for young creative professionals, such as programs that amplify Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and social change initiatives. She is a thought leader, adviser, and educator pertaining to issues of justice, diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, and she has dedicated her career to creating programs that result in a more equitable, vibrant, and sustainable arts landscape. Jefferson has a BA in popular music from Florida Memorial University and an MA in arts administration from Savannah College of Arts Design. She currently serves as a councilwoman for the State of Connecticut Arts Council and is an Advisory Board Member for the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Bennie F. Johnson (Yale BA 1995) is the executive director of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), a professional association for design. Johnson thrives on the connections between marketing, technology, education, and innovation. With experience in strategic and consumer marketing, brand management, and innovation management, he is drawn to opportunities that allow him to lead and create new modes for business engagement. Johnson has broad experience growing brands, businesses, and organizations with a special focus on venture launch and brand relaunch in business environments. As the chief strategy officer for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, he has led strategic marketing initiatives, market research and insights, guided brand management, and built strategic alliances. As former head of Global Marketing and Business Development for the HR Certification Institute, he led the organization’s global strategic marketing efforts including brand management, market research, public relations, and strategic alliances. Johnson’s retention and acquisition marketing efforts expanded the institute’s credentials to more than 100 countries. He has also served as director of marketing for a leading education and technology company, focusing on consumers, new initiatives, and international markets. He has led global marketing for a multinational technology and management consultant firm that serves Fortune Global 500 clients with offices across North America, the Asia-Pacific, and EMEA. Johnson led the brand marketing, sales, and strategic development efforts for the first and largest online community for IT project management, ProjectManagement.com, now part of Project Management Institute (PMI). A graduate of Yale University with a master’s degree from Columbia University, Johnson serves on the Alumni Advisory Council for the Columbia University School of Professional Studies and actively serves on several arts and cultural boards including the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum.
Laura Marsh (Yale MFA 2009) is a textile artist with a social practice currently residing in Florida. Her spheres, flags, and installations contain social mottos and humanitarian texts. Descending from two generations of women who sewed, Marsh practices a do-it-yourself approach that is both accessible and hands on. Her desire to define spaces that serve as placemakers for others expresses the need for more fluid conversations about feminism, gender, and class issues. Marsh regards her practice as multilayered, transformative, and often participatory. She received an MFA from Yale School of Art and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Marsh has exhibited nationally at venues including the Contemporary Art Modern Project, Miami; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Printed Matter; Field Projects; Newman Popiashvili Gallery; and Tilton Gallery in New York. She formerly served as director of programming at Oolite Arts and as curator of exhibitions of the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood in Florida. Marsh currently consults for Oolite Arts among other arts organizations in Miami.
Juliet Sorce (Yale BA 1999) is the executive vice president of Resnicow and Associates, the leading national communications agency serving the arts and culture. With more than fifteen years of experience spearheading strategic communications campaigns for cultural institutions, Sorce has provided counsel to an international roster of clients, including the Frick Collection, the Israel Museum, Frieze Art Fairs, Park Avenue Armory, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Dia Art Foundation, and Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, among many others. She has expertise in crafting and implementing institutional communications programs, in particular for modern and contemporary art initiatives. Sorce’s projects with recent art initiatives include her ongoing work with the Madison Square Park Conservancy on its presentation of a new site-specific installation by Maya Lin (Yale BA 1981, MArch 1986) opening this spring, as well as the Conservancy’s exhibition of Martin Puryear at the US Pavilion as part of the 2019 Venice Biennale. She has also collaborated with clients to launch new cultural enterprises from the ground up and to open new building and expansion projects. These projects include the Frick Collection’s recent opening of Frick Madison and its ongoing renovation project designed by Selldorf Architects; the launch of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; and Park Avenue Armory’s ongoing revitalization and renovation project by Herzog & de Meuron, among others. Sorce previously worked as an editor at the contemporary art magazine Tema Celeste and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in its education department. She earned a master’s degree in Italian language and culture from Middlebury College and graduated from Yale University with a BA in humanities. Sorce serves on the Board of the Association of Art Museum Curators.