Faculty News

MCA Announces New Executive Director

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Baltimore, MD – The Board of Directors of Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is pleased to announce the selection of Nicholas Cohen as the organization’s next Executive Director. 

Mr. Cohen comes to MCA from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) where he served as Director of Community Engagement and Education Programs.

“Given the significance of the arts to the state’s economy and the quality of life enjoyed by all Marylanders, it is critically important to have someone of Nicholas’ caliber leading MCA into the future,” said Matthew D. Gallagher, MCA Board Chair. “MCA’s more than 300 member organizations are thrilled to welcome Nicholas aboard.”

In his role at the BSO, Mr. Cohen oversaw programming that annually provided access to music and the arts for more than 100,000 patrons from all across Maryland. Mr. Cohen served as a member of the transition team charged by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh with developing a comprehensive engagement plan for the city’s youth. An avid musician, Mr. Cohen is also the contrabassoonist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Bethesda, Maryland and has played with other ensembles, including the Annapolis Symphony. “Nicholas brings to MCA a diverse set of experiences as a musician, educator and arts administrator, as well as a passion for arts advocacy,” said Peter T. Kjome, President and CEO of the BSO.

In joining MCA as its new Executive Director, I look forward to continuing my life’s work of advocating for the arts and advancing the belief that the arts should be an accessible human right. Working closely with MCA’s Board, I am excited to serve the wonderful and creative citizen artists and cultural institutions that we have in Maryland and to continue the bipartisan tradition of strong and sustainable public funding for the arts,” said Mr. Cohen.

Mr. Cohen succeeds John Schratwieser after his very successful seven-year tenure leading MCA’s arts advocacy and service programs, a time during which the Maryland State Arts Council’s appropriation grew more than $6.5 million (52 percent). Mr. Schratwieser will remain with MCA through the end of the current Maryland General Assembly legislative session before returning to his adopted home of Chestertown, Maryland to serve as Director of the Kent County Arts Council and launch ARTikultur_MD, a new artist residency program.  “On behalf of the Board and its members, I would like to thank John for his extraordinary service to MCA. He has been a tireless and immensely effective advocate on behalf of Maryland’s artists and arts organizations,” said Mr. Gallagher.