Mary Lou Aleskie
Mary Lou Aleskie has been the Executive Director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven since September 2005, providing leadership at the helm of numerous international organizations and projects as an executive producer and presenter in support of landmark premieres as well as masterworks of the performing arts. The hallmark of the festival under her leadership has been the deepening of local community roots while expanding the profile of the festival internationally. Recognition of the Festival as a major cultural tourism destination and proven driver of economic impact for the region has placed the International Festival of Arts & Ideas firmly among the world’s most well respected cultural festivals. From 2002-05 Ms. Aleskie served as President and CEO of La Jolla Music Society, San Diego’s premier presenter of world-renowned orchestras, dance companies, and soloists and producer of the award winning chamber music festival, La Jolla SummerFest. For the decade prior Ms. Aleskie was Executive Director of Da Camera of Houston, the ensemble music presenter and producer in residence at the world renowned Menil Collection. She serves as Board Chair of the global leadership network, International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), and was recently a speaker at the China Shanghai International Arts Festival Forum focused on the UNESCO Convention on Promoting and Preserving Diversity of Cultural Expression where her paper, “From The Many, One: A Festival Of Worlds” was published and presented, and she serves on the Arts Advisory Committee of the Yale-China Association. Appointed by the Connecticut State Senate Majority Leader, she serves on the State’s Planning Commission for Higher Education and is an Associate Fellow of Branford College at Yale University.