Our Team

MERIDITH McKINLEY

Meridith McKinley brings her significant expertise in strategic planning, fundraising, budgeting, and community engagement to Via’s many public art planning projects. Meridith has managed many high-profile public art projects in Missouri, Texas and Virginia, has successfully secured funding for public art and related education programs, and has co-led and authored public art plans for communities throughout North America. Examples include:

 

In 2004, Via was retained by the City of Frisco, Texas to develop a comprehensive Public Art Master Plan to guide the implementation of its recently adopted 2% for art ordinance. Working with City staff and a citizen public art committee, Via developed a plan that provides procedures for commissioning and acquiring works of art and a five-year work plan. McKinley was the project manager for the planning process.  Via continued to work with the City through 2007 to manage the commissioning of 20 works of art valued at over $2.6 million.

 

In Pinellas County, McKinley, in collaboration with urban planner Todd W. Bressi, developed a public art master plan that charted a new generation of artworks sensitively integrated into delicate coastal environments and civic infrastructure.  McKinley organized the stakeholder outreach as part of the planning process, worked with Bressi to frame public art opportunities, and authored recommendations in the plan related to modifying the program’s commissioning processes.

 

In Reston, Va., McKinley again collaborated with Bressi to developed amaster planfor the
Initiative for Public Art Reston.  The Plan re-interprets the community’s historic tradition of incorporating artworks into the earliest stages of planning, recommending projects and initiatives with contemporary resonance.

 

McKinley worked with the City of Vancouver to commission six permanent and temporary public artworks, to be unveiled during the 2010 Olympic Games. McKinley is leading a team that includes Vancouver-based curator Karen Henry and urban planner Joost Bakker from Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden to plan for and commission the work.  The program, titled “Mapping + Marking” grew out of a recommendation made in the public art program review conducted by McKinley and Bressi in 2007 to create opportunities for artists to initiate public art projects.

 

Prior to Via, McKinley worked as a project consultant for Metro Arts in Transit in St. Louis, where she worked on the Delmar MetroLink Station Enhancement Project, the Forest Park MetroLink Transit-Oriented Development Study and served as editor for MetroLink Communities, a development resource guidebook.

 

McKinley is active in numerous civic organizations in St. Louis.  She is a past board president of St. Louis ArtWorks and currently serves as program committee chair. In 1998 she was elected to the board of Metropolis St. Louis, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to attract and retain young people in the City of St. Louis, and helped to secure Danforth Foundation funding for Metropolis’ leadership development initiatives.  She has served allocation committees for the United Way of Greater St. Louis and served on the board of the Coro-St. Louis Leadership Center from 1998 to 2004.

 

Meridith is an alumna of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. She received a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Iowa.

Email Meridith.

 

EMILY A. BLUMENFELD

Emily Blumenfeld is a public art consultant, curator and art historian working from the New York metropolitan area. She has significant expertise in strategic planning, artist selection, exhibition production, media relations, and working with artists to ensure the maximum impact of their work.

 

A founding Partner of Via Partnership, Emily has co-authored several public art master plans and managed numerous public art projects for clients across North America. Current projects include developing a public art master plan for Providence, RI, artist selection for Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem, artist selection for the Tottenville Shoreline Project, and production of Works on Water: 26 Days of Art + Theater, and community engagement advisor for the Climate Museum, NYC.

 

Emily’s experience includes six years as Community Art Manager for Metro Arts in Transit in St. Louis, where she managed the site-specific public art program, the public poetry program, and community art programs.  In addition, she has acted as curator and educator for the History Division of St. Louis County, and consulted with Chesterfield Arts Inc. to develop a working team focused on highlighting arts and culture in the City of Chesterfield, Missouri.

 

Emily is a graduate of the International Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management presented by NYU Steinhardt School, Guggenheim Bilbao and Deusto Business School, Bilbao. She holds a Masters of Arts in Art History and Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Email Emily.

 

ALIZA SCHIFF

Aliza Schiff has been an Associate with Via Partnership since 2009 contributing to public art strategies and master plans, as well as artist selection and commission management projects. Major projects with Via include the Denver International Airport Art and Culture Master Plan, for which Schiff conducted extensive research and benchmarking, and public art master plans/ strategies for Providence, Rhode Island; San Diego International Airport Art Program;  Marion, Iowa; the Grove Community Improvement District (St. Louis); Atlanta, Georgia; and Allen, TX, and as well as artist selection and commission management for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport; Linn County Iowa; the City of Clayton, Missouri; and the City of Maplewood, Missouri.  Her chief contributions to Via’s projects include conducting research to inform master plans, writing and editing, and assisting with community involvement aspects of public art projects and master plans.

 

Schiff spent four years as a public art project manager for Arlington, Virginia’s nationally-recognized public art program, developing and managing new commissions with national and local artists, planning future public art opportunities with stakeholders, working with private developers commissioning projects through the site plan process, and overseeing conservation of the County’s 70+ piece permanent public art collection.

 

In addition, Schiff has a strong background in community partnerships. She managed a Summer Youth Employment Program for the City of Providence, Rhode Island’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism that employed more than 260 at-risk youth in the arts.  And, as the Community Partnerships & Programs Manager for Arlington Cultural Affairs (Virginia), Schiff developed and implemented creative programs that engage the public with arts, culture, history, and heritage, including festivals, events, and programs in partnership with local public schools, libraries, and other community institutions. Major accomplishments include establishing Arlington’s Poet Laureate program and overseeing selection of the inaugural Poet Laureate in partnership with Arlington Public Libraries, as well as managing the production of a publication about Vietnamese immigration to Arlington with the County’s Historic Preservation Program and Center for Local History funded by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

 

Aliza holds an M.A. in Public Humanities from Brown University and a B.A. in American Studies from The George Washington University.  She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York State.

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ANGIE VILLA

As the newest employee at Via Partnership, Angie is excited to participate in projects that improve the world with art.

 

Angie’s deep local roots have planted her within the St. Louis arts community for the past fifteen years. Once an aspiring painter, Angie has channeled her love of visual art into a career in various aspects of arts management; this also allows her to utilize her creativity in problem solving and meticulous oversight. The bulk of her professional experience came during her tenure as Gallery Director at Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design. Angie specialized in selecting and building collections from a range of artists and a variety of mediums to share with the visitors to the gallery. Through careful selections and creative displays, Angie guided visitors’ experiences and highlighted aspects of artwork to speak to a variety of perspectives. She also brought these perspectives directly to her interactions with artists, balancing between allowing the creative process to grow and meeting the desires of the public. At Craft Alliance, Angie learned to be multi-skilled and self-sufficient on a tiny budget. She can just as easily write a project budget as install a window graphic.

 

During her time as a commercial art Project Manager, Angie experienced firsthand the importance of art in the healing process while working on projects in hospitals; she learned about art’s ability to make any space feel like home while working on projects in hotels; and she furthered her understanding of the complexities public opinion by guiding the clients through the design process.

 

At Via Partnership, Angie strives to always be learning, but also using her experiences to unite clients and artists.

 

Angie studied Arts Management and Leadership at Webster University and received a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Saint Louis University.

Email Angie.