Len Alexander

Len Alexander joined Management Consultants for the Arts as a Partner in 1985 and has worked with a wide variety of performing-arts based clients in executive search, planning and organizational analysis.  He has particular expertise in the areas of labor relations, facility operations, artistic programming, fiscal management and strategic planning.

Since completing his studies as a lighting designer in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, Mr. Alexander has held senior management positions in both not-for-profit and commercial performing arts companies, including the New York Pro Musica Antiqua, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Broadway's Shubert Organization.

From 1973 through 1976, Mr. Alexander served as the Director of Programs for Philadelphia’s celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial, with overall responsibility for creating and supervising all city-sponsored programs and events in addition to coordinating and promoting projects organized by local performing arts groups, museums, and other cultural and civic organizations. He has produced and presented music, theater, and dance events in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Northern California.

Mr. Alexander has helped to found several arts service organizations, including The League of Chicago Theatres, and has served on grant review panels in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and New York.  He is the former chair of the Livermore (CA) Commission for the Arts and the founding executive director (through MCA) of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.  Mr. Alexander and his wife live in Santa Fe, NM and Orleans, France.

Bill Appleton

Bill Appleton joined Management Consultants for the Arts as an Associate in 2015 and works with arts and cultural organizations on executive staff searches. He has more than 20 years of experience developing innovative approaches to connect scholarship with public accessibility. Before joining MCA, he was the Director of Public Programs and Education at the Rubin Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum and Morgan Library & Museum. He held earlier positions at the New York Philharmonic, Doubleday Publishing, Herbert Barrett Music Management, and Milton Academy. 

An active educator, he has taught courses on art, history, film, and foreign languages at a variety of academic institutions including Prep for Prep, a leadership development and gifted education program for middle school students, Eugene Lang College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. 

Mr. Appleton received BA and MA degrees in Classics, from Wesleyan and Brown Universities, respectively. In 2012, he was awarded a Kress Fellowship for Museum Education at the Clark Art Institute to explore the relationship of scholarship to the public understanding of art, and to develop new avenues and innovations in museum education.

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Diane Frankel

Diane Frankel joined Management Consultants for the Arts in 2005 as an Associate.  Diane has more than twenty-five years of experience in the non-profit arena, serving as director of graduate programs in museum studies at John F. Kennedy University and the founding director of the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  As a presidential appointee of President Clinton, she headed the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C.  This agency provides funding for museums and libraries across the United States and is the largest Federal cultural agency.

Upon her return to San Francisco, Ms. Frankel directed the Children, Youth and Families Program at the James Irvine Foundation. Since leaving the Foundation in 2004, she has been the interim director at the di Rosa Preserve, has served as a consultant to arts and cultural organizations and as the executive director of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation. 

Ms. Frankel is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.  She received her Masters of Arts and Teaching from George Washington University.  She attended the Getty Museum Management Institute and the Harvard University Kennedy School of Public Policy summer program for senior government officials.

Ms. Frankel has been active in volunteer activities and has served on numerous boards.  Most recently she has served on the Alliance of Artists Communities Board and is currently chair of the San Francisco Art Institute Board of Trustees.

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Gregory Kandel

Before forming Management Consultants for the Arts in 1983, Gregory Kandel spent many years in arts management, both in the field and as a consultant to dance companies, theatres, orchestras and other performing arts organizations.

In 1974, he founded Northlight Theatre, a professional regional theatre in the Chicago area, and was its producing director.  Four years later, he co-founded the League of Chicago Theatres, a trade association encompassing commercial, not-for-profit, educational and community theatre companies, and was its first chairman.  He was often a featured speaker covering the arts on television, radio and at corporate functions throughout Chicago.

At MCA, Mr. Kandel has served a diverse group of clients throughout the cultural community.  He has assisted a number of them as a National Endowment for the Arts advancement consultant.  As a faculty member at Yale University and guest lecturer at other academic institutions, Mr. Kandel has emphasized the special roles that artists and managers must play collectively in running arts organizations, as well as the governance necessary to make their work successful on behalf of the arts organization.

Mr. Kandel holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Northwestern University.

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Louise Kane

Louise Kane joined Management Consultants for the Arts as its Managing Director in 1992.

During her tenure at MCA, Ms. Kane has worked on executive searches for both visual and performing arts clients and is the firm’s specialist in searches for senior management positions, such as development directors, external relations directors, marketing/communications directors, deputy directors and education directors.  Some of her clients include: Playwrights Horizons and Poets and Writers in New York City, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in Illinois, the Ohio Historical Society, the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut, Ballet Memphis in Tennessee, La Jolla Playhouse in California and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. 

In addition to managing the company’s business and her work in search, Ms. Kane often assists other MCA staff on the firm’s organizational analysis and planning projects.  She is also responsible for developing and writing proposals for the firm and overseeing the production of MCA’s publications.

Ms. Kane’s long term personal involvement and interest in the arts is what led her to join MCA after over 16 years in the corporate world.  She worked for CIGNA Corporation, a major insurance and financial services company in New York City, in the areas of marketing, underwriting and general management for 11 years.  Prior to that position, she worked for Shan, Moragan, a major underwriting management firm, based in Evanston, Illinois.

Ms. Kane holds both a journalism degree and a Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University.


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David Mallette

David Mallette joined Management Consultants for the Arts in 2005 as an Associate after working for more than two decades as a performing arts administrator in theatre and dance.  His background and skills bring together a unique blend of organizational leadership, production experience, creative innovation, and business acumen.  He became an MCA Partner in 2015.

Mr. Mallette’s professional arts management experience began in 1984 at Houston’s Alley Theatre, where he was charged with both theatre operations and touring productions.  He then joined Houston Ballet as company manager, where he was extensively involved in new productions and touring.  In 1990, Mr. Mallette was asked to join (what was then) Fort Worth Ballet as executive director.  During his tenure, Fort Worth Ballet would triple in size through its expansion across the region and the state, first as Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, then as Texas Ballet Theater.  While he was executive director, the Company performed in over forty cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and dozens of communities across Texas.  At his departure from Texas Ballet Theater in 2005, his fifteen-year tenure made him the longest serving ballet executive director in North America.

His consultation experience has included work with large performing arts institutions, service organizations, and foundations as well as smaller institutions, individual artists, and festivals.  Mr. Mallette has been a frequent speaker, author, and consultant in areas of organizational leadership and vision, crisis strategies, governance, and non-profit management.  In addition to his professional demands, Mr. Mallette’s volunteer service to the field and to the community has included serving on numerous boards and panels, most significantly as chair of Dance/USA (2002-05), the national service organization for professional dance, with previous terms as treasurer and vice-chair.  He has also advised and/or served as trustee on numerous non-profit boards and panels, including the Texas Commission on the Arts dance panel (as chair), the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, and the Mid-American Arts Alliance.  He holds degrees in music and music education from Hardin-Simmons University.

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Jason Palmquist

Jason Palmquist has been working as an Associate Consultant with Management Consultants for the Arts since August of 2015.

From 2007 to 2017, Palmquist served as Executive Director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.  His time at Hubbard Street was marked by incredible growth for the company, both artistically and programmatically.  Under his leadership, Hubbard Street went from performing one annual Chicago engagement to four, allowing Chicago residents more opportunities to see the company as they continued to tour to some of the most prestigious venues around the world. In 2015, Hubbard Street was one of only 18 dance companies in the country to receive significant multi-year funding through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Leadership Grants Program for Dance.  In addition to the internal growth of the company, Palmquist helped to forge new partnerships with some of Chicago’s most notable institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, a collaboration with The Second City resulted in the company’s most successful engagement to date, drawing more than 15,000 patrons over its two Chicago runs.

Palmquist began his career at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, completing his tenure there as vice president of dance administration. There he oversaw multiple world-premiere engagements of commissioned works in dance, the formation and growth of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and the inception in 1997 of the Millennium Stage.  Palmquist also managed the Kennedy Center’s television initiatives, including the creation of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and a prime-time special on NBC memorializing the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks. In 2004, he accepted the position of executive director at the Washington Ballet. Under his leadership, the company presented full performance seasons annually at the Kennedy Center and the Warner Theater, and nurtured its world-renowned school and extensive education and outreach programs.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Palmquist currently serves on the board of the Arts Alliance of Illinois.

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Stephen Richard

Stephen Richard joined  Management Consultants for the Arts in 2015 as an Associate after working in ballet, theater and museums for more than 30 years.  He holds an undergraduate degree in American History from Reed College.  After completing graduate work at UCLA, he was the founding Managing Director of the Los Angeles Theatre Center and played a central role in bringing this 4-theatre complex to downtown Los Angeles. 

After moving to the East,  he worked for four years as Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Vice President of External Relations for three and a half years at the National Children’s Museum. His longest tenure was 18 years as the Executive Director of Arena Stage, where he planned and managed the theater’s $125 million capital campaign for the Mead Center for American Theater.   

In addition, Stephen has over 30 years of private consulting clients as varied as the Williamstown Theater Festival and Pittsburgh’s contemporary art museum, The Mattress Factory.  He has taught arts management at Georgetown University and George Mason University, among others.  He has also served on the boards and committees of some of the nation’s most prestigious arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, American Arts Alliance, the League of Resident Theatres, and the Theatre Communications Group.  

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Linda Sweet

Linda Sweet has represented arts museums, historical organizations, science centers, children’s museums, botanical gardens, and other cultural organizations since joining MCA as a Partner in 1984.  She specializes in executive search for top management and professional personnel, strategic planning, board development, and organizational analysis.  In consultation with boards and staff of hundreds of institutions, she has helped to clarify mission, examine structure, establish long-range objectives, and identify key leadership.

She began her museum career at the Brooklyn Museum and was Dean of the Department of Public Education at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  She has taught art history and museum education at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Bank Street College and Leslie College and, in 1974, was awarded a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to study museums in Europe.

Ms. Sweet is a graduate of Barnard College, where she majored in art history.  She received a master’s degree from New York University and a certificate from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management.

An active member of the American Association of Museums, Ms. Sweet was a founder of the Education Committee and its Vice Chairperson from 1978 to 1980.  In 1976 she was elected to the Council of the Association and for eight years served on the Membership Committee.

Ms. Sweet is Past President of ArtTable, a national membership organization of women in the visual arts; a member of the Collections Committee of the Grey Art Gallery of New York University; and a board member of the Alumni Association of Barnard College, and chair of its leadership council.  She is a trustee of Barnard College where she is Co-chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs and serves on the Governance Committee and Council on Diversity. She is also a member of the board of the Greater Hudson Heritage Network and chair of its Governance Committee.

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Jonathan West

Prior to joining Management Consultants for the Arts as an Associate in 2015, Jonathan West was the Director of Communications for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and led all institutional messaging for the organization founded by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  

Mr. West has been an active member of the professional theater community for over 20 years.  He successfully led the Sunset Playhouse, a 54-year-old community arts center in Elm Grove, WI, through a period of great transition to stability and growth as their Managing Director from 2008-2012.  Co-founding Bialystock & Bloom, a daring professional theater company noted for “edge-treading” material, he served as Producing Artistic Director 11 years.  He has worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Next Act Theatre in senior management, development, marketing and education capacities.  His consulting work in media and press relations has allowed him to offer his expertise to organizations such as Ten Chimneys Foundation and Skylight Music Theatre.  Mr. West’s work as an Equity actor and stage director has been seen at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and many other companies.  

As a frequently published writer, Mr. West has contributed to and edited arts and architecture publications nationwide.  He is based in New York City with his wife Paula Suozzi, a freelance opera director, and their two daughters, Dorothea and Carmela.  He is a proud graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study with a concentration in Theatre Administration & Directing.

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Christy Wall

Christy Wall joined Management Consultants for the Arts in 2002 as the firm’s Executive Assistant, after a career at Xerox and in the hotel industry.  She oversees MCA’s administrative and IT functions and assists MCA staff with searches and other projects.  She has extensive contact with all of our clients and will welcome your questions and general inquiries.

Ms. Wall can be reached at 203-353-0722 and at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.