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John M. McCann

johnJohn McCann is an educator, facilitator and consultant. His specific expertise is in leadership education, visioning and strategy development for organizations.

Prior to the creation of Partners in Performance John was the founder and director of the Institute for Cultural Policy and Practice at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, VA. The Institute developed the Community Arts Leadership Academy  for Artserve Michigan; designed and facilitated the leadership development component of the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program of the League of American Orchestras; and developed leadership seminars for Dance/USA, Dance/NYC, Theatre Communications Group, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


Additionally, John has served as a faculty member or speaker for the American Planning Association, Prairie Arts Leadership Institute, New York Alliance of Arts Organizations, and the Empire State Partnership for Arts Education. He is co-author of the Board Excellence Handbook, published by the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations; "Jomandi: People Gathered Together in Celebration" (FEDAPT, 1995), and "Beyond Survival, Devising Strategies in an Uncertain World" and "Leadership as Creativity", both published by the National Endowment for the Arts.


As co-founder of EmcArts, LLC with Richard Evans, McCann served as a member of the consulting team for a broad array of clients including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Arts International, and the 18th Street Arts Complex. He facilitated planning retreats and strategy development sessions for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, DC, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Washington Ballet, Dance Place, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. On behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts, McCann facilitated the focus groups designed to inform the creation of the Challenge America program.


McCann launched Partners in Performance in 2008. As President of the company, John serves as lead consultant on a variety of interesting and intriguing projects including the National Dance Heritage Leadership Forum for the Dance Heritage Coalition; the Governance Effectiveness Initiative for Chamber Music America; the National Trustee Forum for Opera America; and as facilitator for the visioning and strategy development for the Miami Residency of The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2010, John served as lead facilitator and faculty for the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute, a comprehensive leadership development program for the National Guild for Community Arts Education. His pro-bono work includes serving as a facilitator for the Louisiana Recovery and Rebuilding Conference (2005), Clinton Global Initiative (2006), National Performing Arts Convention (2008), and the Association of Arts Administration Educators (2009).


Current projects include the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Levine School of Music, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.


Katherine Keefe

Katherine Keefe is a consultant focusing on strategic planning and organizational development. Katherine is currently the Operations Manager for the Columbia Orchestra in Columbia, MD where she is responsible for concert production, accounting, marketing and fundraising efforts. Prior to that, she was the Managing Director for Handel Choir of Baltimore and Director of Human Resources for Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She has a variety of experience in recruitment, benefits and compensation, performance management, employee relations, and financial management.

Katherine’s consulting experience includes assisting Partners in Performance with recent planning projects for National Alliance for Musical Theatre, National Council of Education for Ceramic Arts, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Levine School of Music, Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Duluth Festival Opera. She also worked with Stephen Richard and Associates on various planning projects.


Prior to her work in the arts, Katherine worked as a Recruitment Manager and Human Resources Generalist for Population Services International (PSI), a nonprofit social marketing organization, in the United States and Nepal.


She holds a Bachelor of Music from Marywood University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Arts Administration from Virginia Tech.


Catherine Maciariello

Cathy Maciariello has over 25 years experience in the not-for-profit arts sector.  A writer and consultant, she is currently principal of HieroResources LLC, which she founded in 2007.  HieroResources is dedicated to fostering individual and institutional creativity and to assisting arts organizations develop creative responses to the challenges facing them. 


With Partners in Performance, Catherine has worked on projects with Dance Heritage Coalition, New York State Council on the Arts, the Elisa Monte Dance Company, and SouthArts.  She consults regularly with Theatre for a New Audience in New York on governance and board development, and she has worked on a range of projects—strategic planning, retreat facilitation, program assessment, and writing—for a diverse group of clients, including the League of American Orchestras, Florida State University, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, among others.


From 1996 – 2007, Catherine served as program officer for the performing arts at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where she developed and managed the Foundation’s national grant programs in music, opera, theater and dance.  During her tenure, she distributed nearly $170 million in grants, including $20 million in emergency funds to New York arts and cultural organizations in the months following September 11, 2001.


Prior to her work in philanthropy, Catherine served as president of Meet the Composer, a national organization that supports the creation and performance of new works by American composers and promotes interaction between composers and communities.  She has been the executive director of three symphony orchestras and has written extensively on the challenges facing U.S. orchestras.  Catherine edited Fearless Journeys:  Innovation in Five American Orchestras for the League of American Orchestras, and her audio interviews with these orchestras can be found on the League’s website.  Catherine holds degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana and from Washington University in St. Louis.


Jessica Sizemore

jessica Jessica Sizemore is the firm’s  Partner Relations Coordinator. Her involvement with the arts began as a young child and she has explored the arts through dance training, choreography, instructing and judging color guard routines, playing the saxophone, participating in college theatre and coaching high school theatre students.


Jessica received her Bachelor of Arts in French from Hollins University
in 1998. Prior to joining Partners in Performance,  Jessica spent several years teaching French, and has also served in administrative capacities for Pulaski County Social Services.


Recently, Jessica was Project Coordinator for the National Dance Heritage Leadership Forum. She is currently designing and implementing the web-base portion of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute, a project for the National Guild for Community Arts Education.


While having lived in France, North Carolina, and Georgia, she is a long time resident of the New River Valley and makes her home in Blacksburg.


Jennifer Crickenberger

Jennifer Crickenberger is the firm’s Business Manager.  Jennifer received a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Virginia Tech.  Prior to joining Partners in Performance, Jennifer spent six years at home with her two young sons.  Previous to that she spent several years as Financial Manager for a Web Development Company and was a Pension Administrator for a Benefits and Insurance Company in Cumberland, MD.  After living in New York, West Virginia, Alabama, and Minnesota she has returned to the New River Valley area.


As Business Manager, Jennifer prepares Letters of Agreement and Independent Contractor Agreements as needed for new projects.  She is also responsible for the Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Payroll, and other financial items for Partners in Performance.