Cornish+ Executive Director
Kel is the first executive director for Cornish+, formerly Cornish Extensions, which will build and grow Cornish's adult, youth, teen, and community programs. From 2016-2020, Kel was the executive director of the Kirkland Arts Center, a community art school, public gallery, and steward of the historic Peter Kirk building. Prior to this role, she spent a decade learning to scale ideas that deeply connect people for community impact and emotional health through arts engagement. As Director of Audience Engagement for the Pacific Symphony, she launched “OC Can You Play?”, connecting 20 artists with 20 pianos placed in Orange County public spaces. This work led to a $850K Irvine Foundation grant.
From 2012 - 2015, she led the learning programs at the Seattle Symphony as VP of Education and Community Engagement. With an entrepreneurial and community-centered lens, she rebuilt its $1M education program portfolio to serve over 10,000 youth and connected over fifty nonprofits to SSO’s Community Connections program.
From 2000 - 2005 Kel was a teaching artist and program designer for the Lincoln Center Institute and New York Philharmonic. Yearning to use her teaching artist experience for arts program management, she studied business at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. There she co-launched Arts Enterprise, a student-led club to connect business and music students. This endeavor led to a national cohort of AE chapters at 7 Universities and ultimately to the development of UM’s EXCEL Lab, a formalized entrepreneurship program.
Ross School of Business, MBA
University of Michigan
The Juilliard School