A Tribute to Sherry Wagner-Henry
Sherry Wagner-Henry | Director, Bolz Center for Arts Administration and Campus Arts and Business Initiatives at University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2012-2020
On May 30, the Bolz Center lost its fiercest champion and forever greatest ally in director Sherry Wagner-Henry. Sherry joined the Center in 2012, and quickly built on the work of previous directors Andrew Taylor, and Al Prieve. Always one to innovate, she loved to try new ways to engage the students so that they would become successful and impactful leaders, whether directly in, or aside of the arts. She developed and delivered a nonprofit board leadership class, incorporated a yearlong impact consulting course, opened the board to professionals who did not graduate from the Bolz program to enhance the learning and include perspectives on a wider scale, and established a Wisconsin School of Business Artist-in-Residency program. The list could go on and on.
Most recently, Sherry spearheaded and launched a new one year Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership degree to provide arts-based business curriculum access to creative professionals to fuse their arts training with business and social enterprise curriculum, and to provide access to business professionals who seek arts-based coursework and social sector leadership perspectives on business development. Her spirit will shine on as the inaugural class begins this fall 2020.
From a research perspective, Sherry was passionate about the topic of community and creative placemaking, and infused its concepts into her classes and applied learning delivery, including the Arts Business Research Symposium which she launched in 2014. Her attention also extended beyond the borders of the Bolz Center, and she worked tirelessly with the UW Division of the Arts, Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), and United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). It is through this work that she was able to create connections and collaborate with - and for - those in her fields. Named the 2020 Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts recipient by the UW Division of the Arts, this was just one of the many recognitions and accolades that grace her CV.