Now in her eighth 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. In appreciation of these efforts, 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.”
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 Artis—Naples’ 8.5 acres in Pelican Bay, grow the endowment, expand the permanent collection for The Baker Museum and support programing and artistic initiatives. To date, the campaign has surpassed $60 million, and 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 fifth year. She has also overseen the expansion of Artis—Napless’ offerings and multidisciplinary focus, including the acquisition of the Naples International Film Festival in 2017. Artis—Naples’ diversity of world-class programing is one reason The Wall Street Journal said van Bergen and Boreyko have ushered in “an impressive new phase” for classical music in Southwest Florida.
Further, Kathleen and her team maintain their effort 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 year’s theme, Fashioning Influence, is a concept exploring the context in which art is created — both historical and cultural — and in relationships to artists and artwork which may have come before. Themes also draw connections across multiple disciplines — essential to an integrated arts organization.
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 St. 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, completed the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at Harvard Business School.