Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) names Lee Ann Scotto Adams as new executive director

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Lee Ann Scotto Adams

Lee Ann Scotto Adams has been named the new executive director of the Strategic Natational Arts Alumni Project.

Lee Ann Scotto Adams will be joining the staff of the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin as the executive director of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). In her new role, she will oversee the planning and administration of the 2022 national survey of arts and design alumni, with her position funded in part by a three-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

Founded in 2008, SNAAP is now managed as a three-way partnership between the UT College of Fine Arts, the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arts + Design Alumni Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to data-driven innovation in postsecondary and professional arts education. 

Adam’s role will focus on managing this partnership while revising the survey to be more inclusive of a greater diversity of art and design schools and their alumni. She will lead Arts + Design Alumni Research's national board of directors in its mission to maximize the success and impact of creatives in society by driving evidence-informed change in training and illuminating the value of arts and design education.

“SNAAP could not have found a better-prepared executive to lead the next SNAAP survey in 2022,” said Douglas Dempster, dean of the UT College of Fine Arts and president of the SNAAP Board of Directors. “Lee Ann Scotto Adams is a capable administrator with deep experience in college-level arts education. She has long familiarity with SNAAP and its mission, and she’s a graduate of an arts college and a working artist. We are excited to have Lee Ann on board to lead SNAAP, and we’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation for making this appointment possible.”

Adams joins SNAAP and the University of Texas after serving as executive director of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), an international membership organization representing 175 graduate and undergraduate arts administration programs. Sally Gaskill, SNAAP's consulting director at Indiana University, will oversee a national conference focusing on SNAAP research in October 2021, transitioning out of her role by December.

Adams has more than 15 years of experience working in nonprofit management and higher education in the arts. She holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an M.S in Nonprofit Management, with a focus in Organizational Communications, from Northeastern University. Prior to joining AAAE, she served as assistant director of programs and operations at the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD), a nonprofit consortium of the leading specialized arts and design schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Adams has also worked as an admissions officer at RISD, as an administrator in the Fine American Paintings Department at Christie’s Auction House and as assistant to the director at the National Museum of American Illustration. She served as treasurer of the Rhode Island Art Education Association Board and maintains a creative practice as a fine arts painter. 

“I believe deeply in the value of an arts education, and I look forward to contributing to the lives of artists and designers and the creative economy in my new role with SNAAP and Arts + Design Alumni Research,” said Adams.

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