ARTISIN’s values are steeped in the arts, business and community. We draw on our team’s years of corporate experience and apply it to creative businesses, cultural organizations and artists.

Our team engages organizations and artists in long-term creative placemaking initiatives. We have been been extremely successful promoting public art projects through development and implementation of strategic, marketing, and business plans, as well as membership campaigns, board development and program-related work.

Susan Schear speaking at a public art launch event
Welcoming the community to the unveiling of "Windows to the City”, a yearlong collaborative project led by Newark Arts with Newark School of the Arts and GlassRoots, commissioned by PSEG. Location: PSEG Federal Square Switching Station, Newark, NJ. Photo: Stafford Woods, courtesy of Newark Arts.

Susan Koblin Schear, President

Susan Koblin Schear, founded ARTISIN, LLC in 1995 to offer comprehensive business development services to the arts and cultural sectors, both public and private.

Schear is a passionate and unrelenting advocate for the arts ensuring the arts are always at the table to address voids in diversity, equity, access, and inclusion; support and advance expressed needs and challenges of arts organizations, artists, creatives, and small businesses; improve the arts ecosystem; and reinforce a cross-sector approach to arts inclusion in civic engagement. She is a dynamic, resourceful, entrepreneur with a strong business acumen.

Her values are steeped in the arts, business and community. She draws on her many years of corporate experience when consulting with arts and cultural organizations, and artists, as she believes they should be leaders within their communities and strategically connect to other sectors. She advocates that mutually beneficial outcomes are realized when encouraging collaboration between arts, business, and other sectors, and brings this passion to her work within diverse, continually evolving and changing communities.

Most recently, Schear served as Deputy Director of Newark Arts, formerly the Newark Arts Council (NAC). During her tenure, she was responsible for the planning, management, completion, and public announcement of Newark Creates, an 18-month, cross-sector, inclusive, community cultural plan, conducted on behalf of the Mayor’s office. She also developed and launched a collaborative earned-income program where artists and arts organizations were hired to work on community projects; expanded the annual ArtStart mini regranting program for locally-based artists and organizations; developed financial and operational reports for Board meetings; and focused on leadership pipeline development for her team and interns to further their personal and professional growth.

Schear has spearheaded strategic planning, marketing planning, membership development and implementation, and community cultural plans for organizations of various sizes and types, and developed meaningful and sustained collaborations for her clients with other sectors. She has conducted board retreats, focus groups and town hall meetings as well as workshops and coaching opportunities for artists, creative entrepreneurs, people with hybrid careers, and arts and cultural organizations.

Schear received an award from ArtPride NJ for her disaster relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy. She is a fellow of Lead NJ and was honored as one of the Best Fifty Women in Business by NJBIZ.

For 14 years, Schear was a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Arts and Cultural Management Program where she was also a thesis advisor. She serves on the Board of Craft in America and is a former trustee of several arts-focused organizations. She also serves on the Program and Services Committee for ArtPride NJ, the Data Arts committee, the Newark Museum Business and Community Council, and the WBGO Community Advisory Board.

Feature: A Conversation with Susan Schear

Véronique Le Melle in a pale green suit
Véronique Le Melle

Véronique Le Melle

Véronique brings decades of experience as an arts administrator, leading and turning around cultural institutions in different regions in the United States.

Most recently, as Executive Director for Artpace, Inc., she introduced and secured funding for new mission related programming, such as the Curatorial Residency, Performing Artist Residency; and Individual Artists Earned Income. Restructured Artpace operations which increased efficiency and reduced personnel cost. Led audience development efforts resulting in increased attendance and diversity to Artpace’s visitorship which reflected the demographic make-up of the City of San Antonio.

Le Melle served as President and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA). From 2009 – 2015. She revitalized BCA programs, spearheaded initiatives to increase services for working artists, and explored ways to connect with youth and community organizations in Boston’s vibrant South End.

Before her work in Boston, Le Melle led the Louisiana Division of the Arts from the spring of 2005. As the Division’s Executive Director, she successfully restructured Louisiana’s Grants Program and streamlined the grant application process. During her tenure, she established Louisiana’s first private cultural foundation, the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation through a collaboration of funders to address the cultural sector’s devastation after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Before moving south, Le Melle worked in the Office of Queens Borough President as the Director of Culture and Tourism. She was responsible for cultural policy, grants administration and developing tourism strategies for the Borough. Le Melle provided support and advise to both the established cultural institutions in Queens and new community-based arts groups who provided vital services within their neighborhoods. She was also responsible for the oversight and preservation of the borough’s historic houses and landmarks.

From 1992 until 2001, Le Melle served as the Executive Director of Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Inc. (JCAL), which is in its fifth decade as the premiere cultural and educational Center in Southeastern Queens. Prior to JCAL, Le Melle was the Administrative Director of Children’s Art Carnival, Executive Director of Red Hook Arts and Program Associate at the New York State Council on the Arts.

Le Melle is a former member of the Arts and Business Council’s Board of Trustees, as well as the national Boards of both ArtTable and Grantmakers in the Arts. She holds an MPA in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University-School of International and Public Affairs, an MFA in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College, and a BA in Economics/Business Administration from Colorado College.

Sheila D. McKoy in a red evening dress
Sheila D. McKoy. Photo: Norman Deshong

Sheila D. McKoy

Sheila D. McKoy, renowned public art and creative placemaking expert and consultant, has successfully produced over 160 public arts projects at transit facilities throughout the transportation system serving the state of New Jersey. She has managed the selection of many artists around the nation, overseeing contract negotiations with contractors and artists alike. She has also connected communities, consultants, architects and engineers, guiding the process of integrating artwork into the transportation system.

Sheila retired from NJ TRANSIT in 2015 after more than 29 years of dedicated employment that contributed to her own personal growth as well as the growth of art in this public forum. She successfully served as the Director of the Transit Arts Program for 16 years. During her tenure, she launched the first micro-site on NJ TRANSIT’s website, which showcases artists, their works of art and the locations of their installations throughout NJ TRANSIT’s Transportation system. Sheila has had the pleasure of working with such notable artist as Albert Paley, Larry Kirkland, Alice Adams, Cork Marcheschi, Richard Hass, Wopo Holup and Willie Cole, just to name a few.

Sheila has continued to thrive in the public arts sector as a consultant, working with developers, private and public partnerships to select artists to create and incorporate artwork into the original architectural design of buildings and/or institutions. Her services provide guidance to individuals, developers and contractors alike during the planning phase for construction and newly occupied spaces. We guide the selection process of artists and artworks through to the installation of the project to ensure the best possible design outcomes.

Sheila has passionately served as the President of the Newark Arts Council for the 2013-2017 years and was a trustee for 10 years. During her tenure as President of the Board she led the organization through significant change and growth, which has been most transformational for the overall organization and those it serves. Her enduring focus and ongoing effort have resulted in new and inspired organizational leadership, capacity building, holistic planning, historic funding with a $1 million grant from Prudential and heightened board development.

Sheila has been a model leader and mentor to many. She has been a recognized speaker and expert throughout her career, participating in panel discussions on public art at Pratt Institute, New Jersey State Council on the Arts creative place-making conferences, as well as at various museums and galleries.

She holds a BA in Management from Dowling College and an MBA from St. Peter’s University.

SDM Art Solution Services

Linwood Ogelsby in a grey suit with landscape painting in the background
Linwood Ogelsby. Photo: Stafford Woods, Courtesy of Newark Arts

Linwood J. Ogelsby

Linwood J. Oglesby became the first full-time Executive Director of the Newark Arts Council when he was appointed to that position by the board of directors on March 1, 1999. In this position he is responsible for developing a comprehensive arts program for the city of Newark that, through collaboration with arts groups, artists, and the philanthropic community, further establishes Newark’s position as the state’s foremost cultural center.

Mr. Oglesby previously served as Executive Director of the American Council for the Arts (ACA), a national arts advocacy and arts service organization based in New York City. He was appointed by the Board of Directors of ACA to become Acting CEO, upon the resignation of the former President and CEO in January 1994. At ACA he oversaw the National Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts Policy (at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.) and the National Arts Advocacy Day at the U. S. Capitol.

Mr. Oglesby has also served as Director of Urban Arts at The Arts Council, Inc. in Winston-Salem, N.C. and was in charge of outreach programs and developing audiences for member groups of the Council. Among the programs which he directed or co-directed were the Mayfest International Festival, Carolina StreetScene, the Art-Is House after school arts education program, visual arts exhibitions and performing arts events. He also advised the Council’s Projects Pool re-granting program.

He has served communities regionally and nationally, as a consultant. He has served on the boards of many organizations, including ArtPride, NJ, New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, WBGO Community Advisory Board, and the Essex County Comprehensive Emergency Assistance System.

Newark Mayor Sharpe James appointed him to the city’s first Public Art Commission and he was elected by his fellow commissioners to serve as its first Chairman. Mr. Oglesby was appointed by Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles to the state’s Commission on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs—a position to which he was reappointed by Governor Douglas Wilder to represent Virginia’s 9th congressional district.

Mr. Oglesby holds the Master of Science degree in Social Policy from Howard University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has also served on the adjunct faculty of the Seton Hall University Center for Public Service.

Maureen Vanacore in a blue dress, panelled wood background
Maureen Vanacore

Maureen Vanacore, MBA

Maureen has been consulting with community-based arts organizations throughout the country for over 20 years. Working with ARTISIN, she uses her business experience to provide consulting services focused on creating solutions to the business challenges faced by non-profit arts and cultural organizations.

Currently consulting with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, she helped launch their ArtsBergen initiative, which serves artists and arts organizations and implements creative placemaking strategies in northern NJ.

She is an avid proponent of creative placemaking as a conduit for arts-driven community and economic development.  Maureen is an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University teaching graduate and undergraduate communications courses in both the Department of Art and Media Studies and the Siberman College of Business.