Vanessa Greene, Founder & CEO
A former National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Vanessa Greene has had a rich and diverse career in community development, arts management, and philanthropy. For 35 years, she has worked with community development corporations, faith based institutions, cultural centers, government agencies, private foundations and commercial enterprises to organize communities, expand capacity, and create opportunity in some of the nation’s most challenging rural and urban environments.
Early career associations with such national leaders as Charles D. Bannerman, the brilliant, innovative CEO of Mississippi Action for Community Development (MACE) in Greenville, MS , and civil rights activist and folklorist Worth Long contributed to her strong managerial and analytical abilities, holistic understanding of “community,” “can-do” attitude, high professional standards, and strong work ethic.
It was while employed as a community development specialist at MACE that she grew to understand the power of the arts and culture to not only transform people but also drive economic and community development.
Ms. Greene co-produced and directed the original Mississippi Delta Blues Festivals in Greenville, Mississippi, founded and produced the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival, served on the board of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and resuscitated the Afro American Cultural Center in Charlotte, NC. For seven years she was employed as a program officer at the Long Island Community Foundation, a division of the New York Community Trust.
Vanessa Greene earned a B.A. in Political Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA, and an Executive MBA from Queens College, Charlotte, NC. She is a photographer and a mixed media artist.