CalArts Strategic Visioning Project
CalArts Strategic Visioning Project

Project Team

Project Team


LaPlaca Cohen is a strategy and innovation firm that CalArts selected to guide and facilitate the Strategic Visioning Project. Find out a little more about the team who will be in conversation with the CalArts community over the next two years!


Maggie Hartnick

Managing Director

Maggie’s diverse experience working on renowned national and international projects in the private and public sectors—across architecture and public space, childhood to graduate-level education, hospitality and visitor experience, visual and performing arts, natural history and science—gives her a distinct edge for driving strategic visioning and transformation in the cultural and creative worlds.

At LaPlaca Cohen, Maggie is the Managing Director of the firm, working with clients on visioning and strategic planning for the future; organizational development and change; and brand identity and positioning. Maggie also spearheads Culture Track, a pro-bono research and innovation initiative within LaPlaca Cohen that includes the largest ongoing national tracking study of the ever-changing attitudes and behaviors of cultural consumers and worldwide events and programs gathering leaders from inside and outside the field to address the most pressing challenges facing the worlds of culture and creativity.

Maggie lectures and guides work sessions at conferences, summits, and Board and leadership meetings across the country on the future of culture and organizational transformation. Before joining LaPlaca Cohen, Maggie helped direct content and brand strategy for the architecture, design and innovation firm, Rockwell Group, and was involved in the art, architecture, and design world in a variety of ways, including journalism, teaching, curating, and advocating. Maggie received a M.A. in the History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology from The Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, and a B.A. in English Literature and Fine Arts from Amherst College.


Diane Jean-Mary

Associate Director, Strategy & Innovation

Diane is a business and creative professional with expertise in global strategy for the field of arts and entertainment. She brings with her a multifaceted background in management consulting, digital music strategy, global insights, innovation, and filmmaking. Her passion for bringing transformational discourse to the arts and culture world is evidenced through her work, both as a strategic leader and as an artist.

As the Associate Director of the Strategy team at LaPlaca Cohen, Diane works with a broad range of clients on branding, positioning, and visioning for the future. She also leads the team fielding Culture Track, LaPlaca Cohen’s cultural innovation engine dedicated to solving the most critical challenges facing the worlds of culture and creativity through research, education, dialogue, and action.

Diane pursued an interdisciplinary education, operating at the intersection of business, film, and socioeconomic inequality. She earned a B.A. in Hispanic Studies-Economics from Columbia University, with a concentration in Film Studies. She also holds professional certifications in International Business from Georgetown University and Narrative Filmmaking from the FAMU Film School of Prague.


Jess Myers


Coming from a background in architecture, urban theory, and design, Jess has worked in diverse practices ranging from research, strategy, and podcasting.

Jess received a Bachelor’s of Architecture with concentrations in French and Urban Studies from Princeton University. She also earned a Master’s of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her academic research focused on topics ranging from the political power of public edifice in New Orleans’ municipal food markets to the intersection of security and identity politics in Parisian public space. Her podcast, Here There Be Dragons, takes an in depth look at the intersection of identity politics and security politics in public space through the eyes of New Yorkers and Parisians. Her research blends mapping and audio practices to explore culture and the urban condition.

At LaPlaca Cohen, Jess has led strategic visioning and positioning projects in partnership with a variety of leading arts, architecture, and cultural organizations.


Visioning Committee

Also leading this process are a number of CalArts leaders and decision makers including representation of students, faculty, staff, trustees and administration. Together they make up the Visioning Committee.

Here is a list of the members:

Joan Abrahamson, Trustee; Jessica Bronson, Faculty Trustee, School of Art; Erin Collins, Staff Trustee, Registrar; Tracie Costantino, Provost; Meg Cranston, Alumni Trustee; Tim Disney, Board Chair; Melissa Draper, Trustee; Karen Hillenburg, Trustee; Charmaine Jefferson, Trustee; Jill Kraus, Trustee; Pablo Leñero, Student Trustee; Tom Lloyd, Trustee; Chebon Marshall, Chief of Staff, Assistant to the President for Government/Community Affairs, Board Secretary; Maeesha Merchant, Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations; Andrew Millstein, Trustee; Terry Morello, Senior Vice President Advancement & External Affairs; Travis Preston, Dean, School of Theater; Ravi S. Rajan, President; Michael Skloff, Trustee; Susan Steinhauser, Trustee

Project Management

Elizabeth Pezza, Project Manager

Culture Projects

For questions regarding the CalArts Strategic Visioning Project, please contact Elizabeth at or (562) 400-6739

Barbara Wolken, Administrative Assistant

Facilities Management