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A globally recognized CEO in contemporary art, Heidi Zuckerman re-imagines the role of art in society and reveals how it can bring us to a place of authentic happiness and spiritual awakening.
Heidi Zuckerman is an expert in trend identification, brand transformation, capital access and acquisition, balance sheet development, and revenue model expansion. A globally recognized CEO in contemporary art, Zuckerman re-imagined the Aspen Art Museum as a world-class institution, securing over $130 million in investment and building a highly-acclaimed museum. She is also a transformational board strategist with expertise in nominating and governance committees.
Zuckerman served on the board of the American Association of Art Museum Directors and was Chair of the Contemporary Museum Directors Group. She is the past Young President’s Organization (YPO) Chair of the Art Network as well as past Chair for the University of Pennsylvania Secondary School Committee in Colorado.
Zuckerman served as CEO and Director for the Aspen Art Museum from 2005-2019. She led the revitalization and re-imagination of the organization, including working with the board and investors to recast the mission and vision of the museum. She put the first ever multi-year strategic plan in place, devised successful strategies and initiatives resulting in increased investment, audience growth, and financial stability, and achieved budget surpluses every year; reinvested profit; and preserved endowment by forgoing annual endowment draw to support operations. In addition, she increased the balance sheet from $2.4 million to $83.3 million and revised Board Bylaws and instituted a Conflict of Interest policy. Establishing the first ever capital campaign, Zuckerman raised over $85 million for the Capital and Endowment Campaign.
Zuckerman received her Honors BA in European History from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her MA in Art History from CUNY Hunter College, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School Executive Education, Women on Boards.
Art and Spirituality
For thousands of years, art has represented and enhanced spiritual experience—both in the larger religious context, but also nondenominational personal spirituality. In “Art and Spirituality," Heidi Zuckerman draws on her own experience with spirituality, rituals, and meditation to discuss the ways in which contemporary art interfaces with our larger wellbeing, both as individuals and in a broader social, cultural context. Can art act as a vehicle to some sort of spiritual experience, and how is it able to achieve that?
Art and Uncertainty
After fourteen years as the CEO and Director of the Aspen Art Museum, Heidi Zuckerman is intimately aware of how political and social uncertainty can affect taste, and how art has the power to bring people together. In a time of sociopolitical crisis, what is art’s role? How can art both ease and confront uncertainty? Should art provide a collective escape, or should it comment on and challenge the various issues that we experience today?
Arts and Happiness
What does happiness really mean? In a society where “happiness” is put on a pedestal, achieved with a better job, more money, more things—how can art bring us to a place where we experience authentic happiness? In her experience as a leading executive in the contemporary art world, Heidi Zuckerman built the incredibly successful Aspen Art Museum as a platform for introspection and exploring how art is a pathway for us to experience emotions larger than ourselves like joy, happiness, and bliss. If we can remove the mental block of “I don’t get it,” art is able to bring people together, and allow them to access the best parts of themselves.
Jeff Koons and Heidi Zuckerman in Conversation About Leonardo Da Vinci
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