Andy Bursten Memorial

This award will be presented in December 2017 to an outstanding current AMGT student who exemplifies Andy Bursten’s kindness, generous spirit and respect and passion for financial management and budgeting for the arts.

This award is named in honor of Andy Bursten, who served as the Director of Finance and Administration and CFO of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and was a member of the AMGT faculty until his retirement in May of 2017. For over eight years Andy taught the core financial management course, AMGT 704 Finance and Budgeting for the Arts I. Andy passed away suddenly on August 2nd, 2017 in his beloved Las Vegas, NV.

“Andy always drove fear out of the system. Often people approach budgets and finance nervously. Andy understood this, and addressed the subject with kindness, patience and support.” – William Reeder, former Dean of the College of Visual and Performance Arts, faculty member of AMGT.


Andy worked for over 30 years in nonprofit financial management. Before joining George Mason University, his professional experience included: Controller, Washington National Opera (formerly the Washington Opera); Director of Finance and Administration, Washington Performing Arts Society; Chief Financial Officer, Levine School of Music; Controller, Special Olympics International; Accounting Manager, National Symphony Orchestra/Kennedy Center. He was also an accountant for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and Temple Beth Sholom. He was a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, serving as an officer for the chapters in which he lived, treasurer of the Arts Council of Fairfax County and Vice President for Finance of Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon VA.

Andy was an accomplished viola player and played in several orchestras including the Reston VA Community Orchestra, McLean VA Symphony Orchestra and the Henderson NV Civic Symphony. He received his BA from Grinnell College and his MBA from American University.

The 2017 ANDY BURSTEN SCHOLARSHIP in the amount of $1,000.00 is generously donated by William Reeder and Richard Kamenitzer.


Award Recipients

Anika Kwinana

MA in Arts Management 2018, Andy Bursten Memorial Award Recipient, Spring 2018

Anika Kwinana is an emerging in arts and events leader, with a passion for the role that the arts can play in socio-economic development.  She will graduate with an M.A. in Arts Management from George Mason University in Spring 2018, with a final project focused on diversity in the arts workforce.

Her current work entails concept development, program design, and partnership-building, but she finds connecting with students and families to be the most rewarding part of her work.  She is a member of the American Society of Association Executives. Anika believes that all of these experiences will add-value to her long-term goal of developing arts organizations, focusing on community development and creative economies. She and her wife raise two daughters.