Donna Walker-Kuhne, Adjunct Professor of Performing Arts Administration, Signature Trustee, and Founder & CEO of Walker International Communications Group, Inc. was honored with the Margot Adams Signature Award at the 2022 Signature Theatre Gala on Monday, June 13, 2022. Also honored at the gala was 2021 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Katori Hall with the Signature Outstanding Artist Award.
Donna Walker-Kuhne is an award-winning thought leader, lawyer, scholar, educator, writer and strategist for community engagement, audience development, and social justice. Acknowledged as the nation's foremost expert on Audience Development by the Arts & Business Council, the accomplished arts administrator and adult educator has devoted her professional career to increasing the accessibility and connection to the arts for our nation's rapidly growing multicultural population. She has raised over $23 million in earned income promoting the arts to diverse communities, and says, "I firmly believe that the arts are the only pure vehicle we have in today's society that cross cultural and ethnic barriers and allow people to transcend their differences."
She is founder and President of Walker International Communications Group, Inc., a 30-year-old boutique marketing, press, and audience development consulting agency. Her team has over 50 years of experience specializing in multicultural marketing, group sales, multicultural press and promotional events. She has developed numerous marketers who have not only contributed to the growth and success of the company but who have also transitioned to share their skills at the nation's leading arts organizations including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Apollo Theater, and more.
Walker-Kuhne has earned a reputation among performing arts patrons for introducing them to high-quality productions and unique experiences. This comes at a time when arts organizations are struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing cultural landscape and shifting demographics - evidenced by the growth of Latinx, African-American, and Asian American populations and the rising consumerism of Generation Y and Z. As an African-American female entrepreneur, Walker-Kuhne has demonstrated sustainability and consistent delivery of excellence for her clients.
She was formerly Vice President, Marketing and Communications at The Public Theater, where she supervised a team of 40 staff and managed a budget of $12 million. Walker-Kuhne developed a new department, one of the first in the nonprofit arts industry focusing exclusively on community engagement. She was appointed Vice President of Community Engagement at NJPAC in 2016. In 2018, she became a consultant to NJPAC and since that time has been consulting as Senior Advisor, Community Engagement, and charged with developing and deepening relationships with targeted communities through partnerships and special events. Most recently, following the murder of George Floyd, she is leading a new initiative, Standing in Solidarity, a social justice program focused on promoting racial equality through conversations and films that examine some of today's most pressing issues. These programs have become a model for the performing arts industry.