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Tonya Nelson joins us as Keynote Speaker for MCN 2019!

Tonya Nelson

Tonya could be described in a number of ways. Some might call her a “metrocultural” (an urbanite interested in a very wide cultural spectrum). Based on her resume, you might describe her as a management consultant and corporate lawyer turned arts leader. Tonya's childhood friends might describe her as an adventurer and itinerant traveler; she would describe herself as a budding thought leader and aspiring writer and public speaker. However, she might be best described by her ceaseless hunt to answer the following questions: Why does culture matter?  How can we more fully express ourselves through culture? How can we use culture to create a better society?

Tonya recently started a new phase of her career in arts, having joined Arts Council England (ACE) as the first Director of Arts Technology and Innovation. In this role, she will support the cultural sector in adopting new technologies in order to produce new types of artistic content and to extend the reach of existing art forms. In this role, Tonya hopes to build on the work she did at the United Kingdom’s Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) in 2017, under the leadership of Matthew Hancock MP, which resulted in the Culture is Digital policy paper.

Tonya also sits on the board of trustees of the National Gallery (UK). She is Chair of ICOM UK and The Bomb Factory Art Foundation and holds degrees in Public Policy (Brown University), Law (Georgetown University) and Art History (Christie’s Education/University of Glasgow). Tonya was also formerly Director, Museums and Cultural Programs at University College London (UCL).

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