Conversations on Patronage

Conversations on Patronage: Supporting the Ephemeral

With Kristy Edmunds, Susan Nimoy, Sarah Arison and Olivia Marciano, presented with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance 


Kristy Edmunds,  Executive and Artistic Director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, has worked closely with Susan Nimoy to purchase the historic  Crest Movie Theater, which will be transformed into a new venue dedicated to providing performance and gathering space for boldly emerging artists in an intimate-scaled setting on the Westside of Los Angeles. The theatre will be named after the late Leonard Nimoy, whose influence has also led to a street on Paramount Studios to bear his name.

Also joining the conversation are Sarah Arison, Chair, National YoungArts Foundation, and Olivia Marciano, Artistic Director of the Marciano Art Foundation, who are dedicated to supporting young artists at critical junctures in their careers – the very artists who will create and present new work at The UCLA Nimoy Theater. The conversation will explore the complexities of supporting work of contemporary performance and the vital role that spaces such as the Nimoy play as community hubs.  

Participants: Kristy Edmunds (Executive and Artistic Director, Center for the Art of Performance), Susan Nimoy (Patron), Sarah Arison (Chair, National YoungArts Foundation), Olivia Marciano (Artistic Director, Marciano Art Foundation) Moderator: Patton Hindle (Senior Director of Arts at Kickstarter)


Kristy Edmunds is an artist, curator, artistic director and frequent keynote speaker. She is regarded internationally for her innovation and depth in the presentation of contemporary performing arts and for placing equal emphasis on the support and commissioning of new work. She currently serves as Executive and Artistic Director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), one of the leading presenters of contemporary performance on the West Coast. Edmunds has also served as the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and the TBA Festival (Time Based Art) in Portland, Oregon (1995–2005); Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival (2005–2008), the Head of the School of Performing Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts/University of Melbourne, and Deputy Dean for the College; and Consulting Artistic Director for the now critically heralded Park Avenue Armory in New York (2009–2012).

Susan Bay Nimoy is a former Chair of The Institute for the Study of Women and Men, a gender studies institute at USC. She is a former board member of the Directors Guild of America. Nimoy was a Television and Regional theatre director producing documentaries on artists Liza Lou and Twyla Tharp.  Nimoy is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and a member of the Leadership Council at the Sundance Institute. Most recently the short film EVE she wrote, directed and starred in was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival 2018.

Born and raised in Miami, Sarah Arison is President of the Arison Arts Foundation, a private grant-making organization that supports emerging artists and the institutions that foster them. She was immersed in the arts from a young age by her grandparents, visionary philanthropists Ted and Lin Arison, who founded Arison Arts Foundation, the National YoungArts Foundation, and the New World Symphony, among their many philanthropic endeavors. Arison is active across a broad cross-section of national arts organizations. She is Chair of the Board of the National YoungArts Foundation, where she has developed strategic partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sotheby’s, Sundance Film Festival and more to provide aspiring talent with presentation and mentorship opportunities. Arison is Vice-Chair of the board of MoMA PS1; a trustee of MoMA and member of the Committee on Education; a trustee of American Ballet Theatre and Chair of the Education Committee; a trustee of Lincoln Center; a trustee of the Brooklyn Museum and Chair of the Education Committee; a trustee of New World Symphony; a member of the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts; and a trustee of the Americas Foundation of the Serpentine Galleries. Arison has also ventured into film producing, supporting projects that shed light on lesser known aspects of the arts. In 2015, she produced her first feature film, Desert Dancer, starring Freida Pinto. She later went on to co-produce The First Monday in May, a documentary film chronicling the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute blockbuster exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass. She recently co-produced The Price of Everything which was acquired by HBO at the Sundance Film Festival. Arison earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and French with a minor in Art History from Emory University. Olivia Marciano has worked as Artistic Director of the Marciano Art Foundation (MAF) since 2016. Her work at MAF involves close collaboration with an array of artists and curators to present engaging, interdisciplinary exhibitions and programming to the wider public. Marciano’s focus on artists and artworks in the collection, as well as those invited to exhibit at MAF, intends to encourage curiosity and contemplation of art in relation to the world at large. Her passion for art as a social force is informed by her experiences in volunteer work and the nonprofit sector, where she has focused on issues relating to essential human rights, children’s health, the environment, and arts education. Marciano graduated from Gallatin NYU and holds degrees in Art History and Social Entrepreneurship.

Patton Hindle is the Senior Director of Arts at Kickstarter, where she oversees the Arts and Performance Arts team whose specialists work closely with visual and performing artists, arts organizations, museums, and cultural institutions around the world to help them realize creative and ambitious ideas. Hindle was previously the co-founder of Chinatown gallery yours mine & ours and the Director of Gallery and Institutional Partnerships at Artspace. She is a co-author of the second edition of How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery and a 2019 Catherine Hannah Behrend Fellow at 92Y Women in Power in New York. Hindle was raised in London and attended university in Boston.