Debra Smyers has over 25 years of experience within the arts and social services sectors. Currently Ms. Smyers serves as the executive director of Windmore Foundation for the Arts promoting the visual, literary, and performing arts through awareness, participation, and education.
Ms. Smyers is the principal and founder for Arts Consulting International, LLC connecting performing and visual artists to audiences worldwide. Her work includes grant writing, strategic planning, fundraising, artistic programming, artist representation, and concert planning.
As an ardent supporter of the Arts, Ms. Smyers has served twice on each of the grant review panels of Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Arts Council of Fairfax County. In addition, she is an arts education advocate and has contributed her time to many community projects including assisting in forming the very first elementary school band in Prince William County.
On the artistic side of the arts, Ms. Smyers is a SAG-AFTRA actress, working in local film projects including all seasons of House of Cards and VEEP. In addition this past year, Ms. Smyers has worked in AMC’s Turn.
In the social services arena, Ms. Smyers founded a not-for-profit in 1990 that continues to help prevent hunger and poverty in Northern Florida. Her special area of interest is to raise money for social service organizations through arts events.
As the very first graduate of the Master of Arts in Arts Management Program in 2005, Ms. Smyers enjoys being an adjunct professor through the lens of both professor and previous student. Her classes reflect her arts practitioner view and she challenges each student by assigning projects that reflect real type work in the arts. In addition, Ms. Smyers expanded the Arts Management Internship Program adding over 40 new internship providers and providing resume assistance to students for internships as well as career advancement.
BA, University of Maryland; MA, George Mason University
AMGT 405 Seminar in Arts Management
AMGT 471 Introduction to Grant Writing
AMGT 512 Grant Writing in the Arts
AMGT 511 Introduction to Grant Writing
AMGT 599 Performing Arts Management
AMGT 711 Strategic Planning in the Arts