Now in her ninth season at the helm of Artis—Naples, CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen continues to chart an assured and ambitious course for the organization. Her dedicated oversight is recognized throughout Southwest Florida and in the greater arts community as an example of leadership geared toward prudent growth and relationship building. Gulfshore Life magazine named her one of its 2012 Men & Women of the Year, suggesting that her title be expanded to include “collaborator-in-chief.” And in 2016, Naples Illustrated named her one of its Leading Ladies, saying, “In less than five years, van Bergen has led Naples’ premier cultural center to a new level.” Named one of Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year in 2019, Kathleen is described as “a woman with a mission, a vision, and a board to support both.”
Since 2011, Kathleen has put her focus squarely on fulfilling the Artis—Naples mission of inspiring, educating and entertaining to enrich our diverse community. In 2016, the organization announced the Future—Forward Campaign for Cultural Excellence, a campaign to reimagine the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus, embrace artistic and community initiatives, substantially increase the endowment and grow the permanent collection for The Baker Museum. To date, the campaign has surpassed $70 million, and the Artis—Naples endowment has achieved $100 million, doubling in size under Kathleen’s leadership.
Kathleen has built a dynamic team at the organization, including the refined leadership of Sharon and Timothy Ubben Music Director Andrey Boreyko, now in his sixth year. She has also overseen the expansion of Artis—Naples offerings and multidisciplinary focus, including the acquisition of the Naples International Film Festival in 2017, named to MovieMaker Magazine’s 2019 list of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. The organization’s diversity of world-class programming is one reason The Wall Street Journal said Kathleen and Andrey have ushered in “an impressive new phase” for classical music in Southwest Florida.
Further, Kathleen and her team maintain their efforts to deepen engagement and the investment in the classical arts through seasonal themes. The themes provide a curated lens through which to experience a broader Artis—Naples. This season’s theme, Icons, creates connectivity between audiences globally and historically, reflecting the way iconic art and artists can have a universal and often sacred impact. Through the Naples Philharmonic Masterworks and chamber music series and lectures, special attention will be paid to icons, including Beethoven to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth and the piano as an iconic instrument, with numerous acclaimed guest pianists performing.
A violinist by training, Kathleen has made music a central part of her life. Prior to joining Artis—Naples, Kathleen held several key positions, including artistic and executive director at the acclaimed Schubert Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota; vice president of artistic planning for The Philadelphia Orchestra; and vice president and director of artistic administration for the St. Louis Symphony. Kathleen has served on the boards of the American Composers Forum, the Rose Ensemble, Exhibits Development Group and the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. She holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music, and she completed the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at Harvard Business School.