Nashville’s new contemporary arts center OZ announced Tuesday that Pamela Johnson has joined the nonprofit as Senior Vice President, Development and Marketing. Over the course of more than 40 years, Ms. Johnson has played transformative roles at a range of cultural institutions, most recently as Vice President of Development for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and previously as Vice President for Communications and Corporate Relations at the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles.
As OZ’s first senior development and marketing executive, Ms. Johnson will cultivate a community that can contribute the financial support to ensure OZ’s future. She says of her decision to join OZ: “It’s rare that one has the opportunity to be part of a new arts initiative. The cultural vision imagined by the Ozgener family is sophisticated, cutting-edge and fills an important niche in a Nashville that is driven more and more by a creative community. I am thrilled to be part of that.”
OZ President and CEO Tim Ozgener says, “We are beyond excited to have someone of Pamela’s caliber joining our team. She is an impressive person with a career of achievement. With her expertise, the organization can make the transition from a family dream into a mainstay of the community.”
Prior to her tenure at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Johnson was the Director of University Marketing/Special Initiatives for Belmont University. There, she designed and implemented Belmont’s marketing opportunities and oversaw special projects happening at Belmont, which included the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Before moving to Nashville, in addition to her work with the J. Paul Getty Trust, Johnson founded the public relations firm Pamela Johnson Associates, Inc. in New York City, providing national and international marketing and branding for clients such as AT&T, Polaroid, a broad range of public television programs, cultural organizations, film festivals, and others. Johnson has also worked with the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association of Museums) and the Smithsonian Institution and served as President of the Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood in Nashville. She is immediate past-president of Nashville’s ECON Charities Board, is on the board of Tennessee Repertory Theatre, is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Nashville and is on the Advisory Council for W. O. Smith.
Ms. Johnson is the latest addition to a team of highly accomplished arts professionals collaborating at OZ. Artistic Director Lauren Snelling came to the organization following posts at the Park Avenue Armory in New York and the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Australia. She has engaged the artists in collaboration with one of the world’s foremost curators, Kristy Edmunds, Executive and Artistic Director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA and previously the Consulting Artistic Director for the Park Avenue Armory, the Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and the Founding Executive & Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and the TBA Festival (Time-Based Art) in Portland, Oregon. Patterson Sims, a New York-based independent art curator, formerly of MoMA and the Whitney Museum, has served as an advisor to the Ozgener family as they have developed their ideas and the staff for OZ.
Cano Ozgener founded OZ as a gift back to the city and country that have been so hospitable to him and his wife, Esen, as first-generation, Turkish-Armenian immigrants. Cano’s son (and former C.A.O. President) Tim Ozgener leads the institution as President and CEO, with his sister, Aylin Ozgener, as a key advisor.
In OZ’s inaugural season, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance performed its kinetic and cerebral dance work FAR on Feb. 13 and the Intergalactic Nemesis performed their “live action graphic novel” Book One: Target Earth on March 7-8. Both shows played to packed houses and critical acclaim.
The season continues with two distinct shows by virtuosic string quartet ETHEL (April 11 & 12); Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord’s The Suit, directed by the revolutionary Peter Brook (May 22–24); legendary composer and master pianist Philip Glass with formidable violinist Tim Fain (June 20–21); and OZ Family Day, with Dan Zanes & Friends (August 9). Thursday Night Things (TNT), a monthly series of art, performance, food, and drink, guest-curated by Nashville artists, is taking place throughout the season.
For more information, please contact visit oznashville.com.
*Photo of Pamela Johnson courtesy OZ.