2012 Biennial Convention “Branching Out”

April 19-22, 2012, Washington, D.C.

Cheryl McCleney Brooker, Arts Luncheon Speaker

Art Luncheon Speaker, Cheryl McCleney Brooker

by Jamie Tate, National Art Chair, Delta Branch

Cheryl McCleney Brooker, Director of External Affairs at the Philadephia Musuem of Art until she retired this Spring of 2012, gave an inspiring speech on how to “get off our butts and get out there to our communities,” at the NLAPW Biennial Arts Luncheon, April 20, 2012. Her talk, on the topic, “From Barriers to Thresholds; Lessons of a Cultural Worker,” removed the luxury of excuses as attendees listened to a wheelchair-bound woman with MS who required the assistance of her husband to turn the pages of her speech. She talked about her experiences working in museums and in the arts community, and her own transformation from “Reluctant Warrior” to “Change Agent.” She gave specific pointers on continuing the NLAPW’s important work advocating and promoting the arts to all, and strategies for reaching out to new audiences. Many can benefit from our creative skills. She asked, “Are you willing to share those skills…with someone who could really use them?” Appropriately, Ms. Brooker ended her talk with Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman.”

Having many years in the cultural field, Cheryl served from 1974-76 as the Assistant Program Director for the Museums Collaborative in NYC, and from ‘76 through ‘78 as the Assistant Commissioner of Cultural Affairs in NYC. With stints at the Guggenheim and with the National Endowment book-ending these experiences, she eventually landed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as the Director of External Affairs and some 29 years later, retired this spring of 2012.

Ms. Brooker has graciously agreed to share her speech here on our website it written form. Click here to read the talk, share with your branch members, and continue the inspiration!

Keynote Speaker, Installation Banquet, Dr. David Brook

By Trish Wootten, 2012 Biennial Convention Chair & DC Branch

Dr. David Brook from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources gave the keynote speech at the 2012 Biennial Installation Banquet.

From Left to Right: Keynote Speaker, Dr. David Brook, Diana Mayhew, President, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Trish Wootten, NLAPW Biennial Chair, Sharyn Greberman, NLAPW Naitonal President

Dr. Brook’s historical research for a manuscript on Minette Chapman Duffy introduced him to late Pen Woman and first Director of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in 1927, Elise Marsteller Mulliken. This native San Antonian, celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic for her civic and other professional activities was active in the Red Cross and in war-time efforts providing training in automotives (adapted from The League of American Pen Women in the District of Columbia). In exploring the depths of Ms. Mulliken’s service, a touching bond was created by the researcher for the researched as an affinity developed for Ms. Mulliken’s illustriousness and pedigree. The poignant thing to realize is that this quintessential Pen Woman was both one of a kind and yet, also a norm among National League of American Pen Women members. Amidst Dr. Brook’s sharing and visual presentation, the extraordinary merit of all past and present Pen Women were invariably featured and celebrated.
This web link provides a decent attempt at spotlighting Ms. Mulliken’s immeasurable legacy:
Diana Mayhew, President of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, was also present at the Installation Dinner. She excitedly mentioned a scrapbook of Elise Marsteller Mulliken’s, which had been procured amidst festival planning…highlighting her kinship with the NLAPW. Earlier in the spring, 2012 Biennial Convention Chair Trish Wootten and NLAPW National President Sharyn Greberman were invited to attend the Opening Ceremony for the Centennial Celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. During this Centennial year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated five (5) weeks of ethnic exhibits, festivities, activities and numerous celebrations for dignitaries and the people from both, America and Japan.