Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture 2024

Thursday May 30
8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Williams Center for the Arts
Lafayette College, Easton

This convening will bring together the artistic, business, government, education, and funding communities in a presentation of data, interactive conversation and the exchange of ideas. Here, a concentrated program dedicated to creating a results-based initiative will lay the foundation to grow a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture sector for the residents and guests of the region.

Event Schedule


8:30 - 9:00 AM

Light Breakfast / Conversation / Ideation Boards


Mike Lorenz, Guitarist/Composer/Educator

Welcome & Opening Remarks

9:00 - 9:15 AM


Ingrid Furniss, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Lafayette College

David Mickenberg, Board President, Lehigh Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance

Salvatore J. Panto, Mayor, City of Easton PA

Session 1: Where We Are

9:15 - 9:55 AM

A presentation of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 research study with a discussion of implications for the Lehigh Valley’s arts and culture sector.

Featured Speaker

Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research, Americans for the Arts

Session 2: What Is Possible

10:00 - 11:00 AM

A thought leader in the arts and culture sector provides examples of arts in action, and discusses the importance of the societal impacts of arts and culture in the community.

Keynote Speaker

Lesa Ukman, Founder, ProSocial Valuation Service

Session 3: Where We Want to Be

11:10 - 11:50 AM

A moderated discussion with panelists representing government, funders, and the arts community on topics, ideas, and next steps to where we see the arts heading over the next decade. This session features engagement from attendees and presentation of ideas and topics shared during the morning social.


Berrisford Boothe, Artist-Curator-Author

Becky Bradley, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

J. William Reynolds, Mayor, City of Bethlehem PA

Stephen P. Link, Director of Philanthropic Services, Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management


Leela Breithaupt, Executive Director, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem 

Jason King Jones, Artistic Director, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Closing Remarks

11:50 AM - 12:00 PM


Sean King, Managing Director, Lehigh Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance

Featured Speakers

Berrisford Boothe

Artist, Curator, Author

Berrisford Boothe is an Artist-Curator-Author. He is Associate Professor of Art at Lehigh University where he teaches beginning and advanced studio practice in drawing, painting and design. Boothe, born in Kingston, Jamaica is a multiple-media artist who has been a visible and well established presence in the Eastern U.S. art scene for over 20 years. He has carefully crafted a career as painter, digital artist, printmaker, photographer, installation artist, lecturer & curator.

Boothe is represented by the June Kelly Gallery NYC, The Sande Webster Gallery in Philadelphia and also at Montanette T. Jones’ MuseArt Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently a member of a collective of professional artists at The Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA., Boothe has recently mounted his thirteenth solo exhibition and has been part of nearly 70 group exhibitions internationally. He has served on the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and his work is part of collections public and private nationwide and in South America.

Berrisford’s career has been presented in the Fine Artist’s Guide to Marketing and Promotion and Halima Taha’s Collecting African American Art. He was one of 100 artists nationwide featured in Robert Wuthnow’s book ‘Creative Spirituality: The Way of the Artist.’ Most recently Berrisford’s digital print collages which he refers to as ‘Virtual Lithographs’ were part of the exhibition African-American printmakers: The Legacy Continues at The Aljira Center for Contemporary Arts in Newark, NJ. He was in the 2008 seminal exhibition: In Search of the Missing Masters: The Lewis Tanner Moore Collection of African American Art @ The Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been featured in exhibitions at The Allentown Art Museum, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, The African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA, The William Benton Museum of Art, The New Arts Program, Kutztown, PA and The State Museum of PA.

As a member of the Lehigh faculty for over 18 years, Berrisford has gained recognition for teaching practice and notably was one of four professors to design and implement the Integrated Product Development program which as a practice creates teams of undergraduate designers, engineers, business & marketing majors in a curriculum centered around new product design, system-level design extension issues, industrial design and prototyping, reverse engineering and product development economics for start-up and existing businesses. Professor Boothe also teaches freshman seminars in British Contemporary Art. Since joining the faculty there he has initiated and taught courses on African-American art and aesthetics from pre-colonial Africa to Contemporary America as part of Lehigh’s Africana Studies program.

In 2004-‘05 while on sabbatical in Cambridge, England, he was a member of St. Barnabas Print studios. There, he produced new work with director James Hill and exhibited as a painter, photographer and printmaker. In Cambridge he also collaborated with master printmaker Kip Gresham at Gresham’s renowned Print Studio. The editioned prints completed there became part of collections at The Fitzwilliam Museum’s and The Kasser Foundation of Montclair, N.J. In addition, he was artist-in-residence at The London Print Studio where he continues a collaborative project with director John Philips.

Becky Bradley

Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

Becky Bradley has over 20 years of experience in city, regional, economic development, historic preservation and transportation planning, including significant implementation experience in community revitalization, infrastructure investment, roadway redesign and trail construction. She has been the Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) since August 2013, is leading a $2.8 billion regional transportation planning program, and balancing the needs of a rapidly growing population. Bradley led the effort to combine the LVPC’s land use plan with transportation and investment plans through the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study. The result, FutureLV: The Regional Plan, is one of the first regional transportation-comprehensive land use plans in the nation, and was recognized by Governor Wolf for “Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices”.

Bradley also coordinated the adoption of the first Walk/RollLV: Active Transportation Plan, launched the expanded Equity and Access to Opportunity analysis and online engagement tool, and developed the draft $485 million 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program, while managing development proposal reviews for more than 20,000 new housing units and nearly 40 million square feet of commercial/industrial in the last five years. In 2021, Bradley and her team completed an analysis of the region’s housing and jobs market in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Lehigh County. For her work in serving two counties, 62 municipalities, and more than 687,000 people, Bradley received the National Association of Regional Councils’ Walter Scheiber Leadership Award, recognizing her as one of the leading metropolitan planners in the Nation.

Bradley serves on Pennsylvania’s Transportation Revenue Options Commission and Delaware Basin Water Resources Committee. She represents the Northeast US on the Executive Director’s Council of the National Association of Regional Councils and is a member of the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority Board of Directors. Also, she serves on the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Governors and the Lehigh Valley Partnership, supporting collaboration and coordination with the region’s business community.

Bradley’s work on the issues affecting the region, along with co-author Matt Assad, can be read in the Morning Call’s Business Cycle and heard on WDIY, 88.1 FM, Lehigh Valley’s National Public Radio station, discussing public affairs in the region as part of the Plan Lehigh Valley program.

Randy Cohen

Vice President of Research, Americans for the Arts

Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Cohen is known for balancing rigorous research methods with accessible and actionable results. His work at Americans for the Arts has provided new perspectives on the nonprofit arts.

He recently published Arts & Economic Prosperity 6: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture Organizations and their Audiences and Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2023, a national public opinion study about the arts. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S., and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. He is the 2024 recipient of the Sidney Yates Advocacy Award for outstanding advocacy on behalf of the performing arts in America. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences, and worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chair of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

Sean King

Managing Directory, Lehigh Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance

Sean King is the Managing Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance. 

Stephen P. Link

Director of Philanthropic Services, Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management

Steve joined Cornerstone in 2021 as Director of Philanthropic Services working with individuals and non-profit organizations. Steve assists individuals exploring the role of philanthropy in their overall financial plans, and helps charitable entities build effective planned giving programs.

Steve began his career in 1985 with Price Waterhouse and then spent 30 years working predominantly in the area of gift planning, assisting donors in building strong financial foundations for higher education and health care. Steve is the past Senior Philanthropic Advisor for Georgetown University where he worked for 15 years. At Lehigh University, Steve served as Director of Principal Gifts and Assistant Treasurer over a 12-year career, before being named Vice President of Advancement for St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network. Over the past two decades, Steve served on the boards of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, Historic Bethlehem Partnership and Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Steve has spoken on aspects of gift planning and endowment management for a variety of organizations. Steve earned a B.S. in Accounting & Finance, and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University; and a M.A. in European Civilization from Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. In his spare time, Steve enjoys running, cycling and travel.

Mayor J. William Reynolds

Mayor, City of Bethlehem

A lifelong resident of Bethlehem, William graduated Magna Cum Laude from Moravian College in 2003 with a major in Political Science and a minor in History.  William, following a campaign that saw him knock on nearly 4,000 doors, became the youngest City Council member in Bethlehem’s history in 2007 following his successful challenge to a slate of incumbent Council members.

In 2011, William helped to create the city’s first Human Relations Commission dedicated to eliminating discrimination and promoting equal opportunity in the City of Bethlehem.  In 2014, William was elected by his colleagues to serve as President of City Council, a position he was re-elected to in 2016.

As President, William launched Bethlehem 2017 – a set of policy initiatives aimed at making Bethlehem a more progressive community.  As state and national inaction on climate issues continued, William led the way in helping Bethlehem to establish its first Climate Action Plan. William also proposed and created NorthSide 2027 – a reinvestment strategy and public/private partnership for north Bethlehem’s neighborhoods that includes citizens, local businesses, the Bethlehem Area School District and Moravian College.  

Bethlehem broke new ground in governmental transparency by adopting William’s Financial Accountability Incentive Reporting (F.A.I.R.) – an initiative that measures and tracks the effectiveness of economic development incentive programs. In 2018, Bethlehem instituted William’s open data program which publishes governmental data in an effort to spur innovation, entrepreneurship, and citizen engagement in the city.  During William’s time on City Council, Bethlehem has continued its economic revitalization as billions of dollars of private and public investment have helped to lead the city to its consistent ranking as one of the best American cities in which to live, work, and retire.  

William has also dependably stood up for the citizens of Bethlehem by demanding federal and state action on a number of important issues related to fairness and equity.  He has publicly advocated for raising the minimum wage, increasing investment in public education, ending the digital divide, and providing affordable, universal health care.  

Outside of governmental service, William has also served on Moravian College’s Board of Trustees, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Transition Team, and the Bethlehem Area Public Library’s Board of Directors.  He resides in north Bethlehem with his wife Dr. Natalie Bieber.

Lesa Ukman

Founder, ProSocial Valuation Services

In 1982, driven by the then-radical idea that rather than interrupting people with advertising, businesses would be better served by instead investing in partnerships with the sports, arts, entertainment and causes that people loved, Lesa Ukman founded IEG and spawned an industry now worth more than $105 billion annually.

Lesa’s concept of sponsorship—a medium that can build brands and profits while concurrently enhancing lives and communities—was rooted in idealism. But her advocacy was grounded in mathematical analytics and research-backed insights. The opportunity to do well by doing good spread like wildfire and sponsorship’s growth outpaced all other forms of marketing for more than three decades.

In 2016, recognizing philanthropy is where sponsorship was 35 years ago—ripe for radical disruption and improvement—Lesa left IEG, which she’d sold to WPP, to launch the ProSocial Valuation Service (PSV).

For the second time in her career she created a methodology and an algorithm to value what has widely been considered unmeasurable: e.g., social capital rather than sponsorship. 

Lesa and her partners in PSV, Jed Pearsall and Bill Doyle, co-founders of Performance Research, unlock the promise of technology and big data to value social impacts with the same rigor, transparency and clarity used to measure financial outcomes.

Backed by evidence-based research in which there is a proven correlation between a given intervention and a specific impact, PSV converts each unit of social capital into the universally understood currency of money.

PSV has been used to assess initiatives in adult education, youth sports, sustainability, legal aid, homelessness, placemaking, visual arts and performing arts. It has galvanized support for nonprofits and NGOs, enabled brands to get credit for strategic philanthropy, cause marketing and employee volunteerism, and allowed donors and impact investors to direct spending to the worthiest organizations.

Presented by ESSA Bank

Event Schedule

Light Breakfast
9:10-9:50Where We Are: with Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts
10:00-10:50What Is Possible: with Keynote Speaker Lesa Ukman
11:00-11:50Where We Want to Be: A facilitated exchange of ideas
11:50-12:00 Closing Remarks & Next Steps