Jay Dick 93 will be the featured speaker in the Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship speaker series on Friday, September 8. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 2:00 p.m. in Harris Cinema. The Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership is sponsoring the speaker series and associated course.

Jay is the Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts where he works to educate and inform elected officials about the value of the arts and culture.  As a twenty-year veteran of K Street, Capitol Hill, the private sector, and federal, state, and local campaigns, Jay possesses a tremendous body of knowledge in the field of arts cognized speaker on these topics having designed and overseen many initiatives.  Jay is regularly interviewed by the media and testifies in front of legislative bodies as an expert on these topics and on Americans for the Arts’ legislative positions.

With the mandate to positively affect the policies that promote State and Local funding and expansion of the arts, Jay works closely with the Americans for the Arts’ fifty Advocacy Captains, Local Arts Groups, and the State Arts Action Network and Council to accomplish this goal. Further, he oversees Americans for the Arts’ Public Partnerships and works closely with the members and staffs of the National Governors Association, National Lt. Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislators, National Association of Counties, The United State Conference of Mayors, and the National League of Cities.

Jay has worked at Americans for the Arts for eleven years. Prior, he worked for Capitol Advantage, a high tech advocacy company; the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); and the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI). Jay spent the 1996 campaign cycle working as the Field Director for a congressional campaign in Iowa’s 3rd District and began his career with the United States Senate where he served on the personal staff of Tom Harkin (IA) and then Frank Lautenberg (NJ).

In 2014, Jay was appointed by Virginia Governor McAuliffe to serve a five-year term as a Commissioner for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. He also serves on the Board of the Arts Council of Fairfax County where he chairs their advocacy committee.  

This semester, Jay is teaching a Wilson short course titled:  “The Arts and…   Incorporating the Arts into the Modern Creative Economy,” which will explore the relationships between the arts and our evolving economy.  As business leaders are now demanding more “creative” and “innovative” employees, how can artists and/or creative individuals effectively and confidently step into industries that had little to do with their major/training?  The class will explore the role of the arts in education, health care, transportation, tourism, international diplomacy, and other parts of our economy.   

Jay received his B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa in 1993.  

Advocacy for the arts is his job but also his passion.

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