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Heidi Zuckerman  

Former CEO & Director of Aspen Art Museum

As the former CEO and Director of the Aspen Art Museum, Heidi Zuckerman was a globally recognized leader in contemporary art for over 14 years. After re-imagining the museum as a world-class institution, she raised more than $120 Million and built a new, highly-acclaimed museum with Shigeru Ban, the 2014 Pritzker Prize winner for architecture. She managed an annual operating budget of over $7M and supervised a staff of 65, having personally hired all senior staff members and retained them all for over seven years. She has curated more than 100 exhibitions during her career. From 1999-2005 she was Chair of the Curatorial Department at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. Previously she was a curator at The Jewish Museum in New York. Heidi also serves as the Chair of the YPO Art Network. She earned a BA in European History from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA in Art History from Hunter College at CUNY and a Harvard Business School Executive Education Women on Boards certification in 2018.

Speech Topics

Art and Spirituality

For thousands of years, art has represented and enhanced spiritual experience—both in the larger religious context, but also nondenominational personal spirituality. In “Art and Spirituality," Heidi Zuckerman draws on her own experience with spirituality, rituals, and meditation to discuss the ways in which contemporary art interfaces with our larger wellbeing, both as individuals and in a broader social, cultural context. Can art act as a vehicle to some sort of spiritual experience, and how is it able to achieve that?

Art and Uncertainty

After fourteen years as the CEO and Director of the Aspen Art Museum, Heidi Zuckerman is intimately aware of how political and social uncertainty can affect taste, and how art has the power to bring people together. In a time of sociopolitical crisis, what is art’s role? How can art both ease and confront uncertainty? Should art provide a collective escape, or should it comment on and challenge the various issues that we experience today?

Arts and Happiness

What does happiness really mean? In a society where “happiness” is put on a pedestal, achieved with a better job, more money, more things—how can art bring us to a place where we experience authentic happiness? In her experience as a leading executive in the contemporary art world, Heidi Zuckerman built the incredibly successful Aspen Art Museum as a platform for introspection and exploring how art is a pathway for us to experience emotions larger than ourselves like joy, happiness, and bliss. If we can remove the mental block of “I don’t get it,” art is able to bring people together, and allow them to access the best parts of themselves.

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