COLUMBUS, OH, January 10, 2022, Ohio Citizens for the Arts today announced the addition of seven new members to the Board of Directors: Dr. Philathia Bolton, Janet Chen, Heather Clow, Colleen Houston, Michael McGiffin, Urvi Patel, and Emily Toney.

In addition to the election of the most diverse slate of directors in OCA history, Elizabeth Brown-Ellis, Executive Director of Lima Symphony Orchestra, has been selected as the incoming President of the Board Directors.  

“I am delighted to further the inspiring and important work of Ohio Citizens for the Arts. It’s a true honor to be the first woman to be elected President of the Board and to welcome the most diverse class of Directors yet. The results of OCA’s advocacy provided a financial lifeline to many of Ohio’s arts and culture organizations during the last year, and I look forward to a period of renewed growth and creativity.”  

Elizabeth Brown-Ellis has been the Executive Director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra since 2013. Under her tenure, the LSO has been recognized on a national level for its vibrancy and successfully ended nine ambitious seasons within budget even despite the challenges of a global pandemic. In 2019, the LSO became the first orchestra in the nation to win the Stand for the Arts Award from Ovation Television and Charter Communication based on its innovative and accessible programming, community engagement, and educational programming. Ms. Brown-Ellis has been recognized by the League of American Orchestras for creating two highly successful and groundbreaking programs, Healing Through Music and Music in Unexpected Spaces, and she earned the 2019 Art Advocate of the Year, awarded by Arts and the Creative Economy. She has worked closely with the LSO’s Music Director to diversify the LSO’s programming, audience, and Board.

With extensive experience in the arts and culture sector, these new directors will serve as a catalyst for creative change as Ohio Citizens for the Arts looks ahead to the revival of the creative economy.

OCA Executive Director Angela Meleca

“It’s fitting for the OCA board of directors to close out a historic year in advocacy successes by naming Elizabeth Brown-Ellis as the first female president in the history of the organization. I am excited to work alongside Elizabeth and the OCA Board of Directors to expand our advocacy for Ohio’s creative industry.”