MSLCE Program Faculty Director
Dr. Jennifer Novak-Leonard is the Director of Northwestern’s MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program.
She is an established leader in research and evaluation in the areas of arts management and cultural policy, including influential work interrogating the diverse modes in which individuals participate in art and creative expression. Recently, she led the redesign of the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. She is often called upon by policymakers and cultural practioners as an aide in their use of research and data for decision-making.
Jennifer has led and guided numerous applied research efforts, including those undertaken by the NEA, DataArts, The Association of American Cultures, the National Art Education Association, Dance/NYC, ArtsMidwest, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, among others. Her scholarly publications include research on the public perceptions of artists; public funding; arts as a means of immigrant integration; and measuring the intrinsic impacts of arts experiences. Recently, her research was included in the Routledge Companion to Global Cultural Policy (Durrer, Miller & O’Brien eds., 2017) and Arts and Cultural Management: Critical and Primary Sources (Rosewall & Shane eds., 2018). She is the Principal Investigator of one of the four inaugural NEA Research Labs, serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Cultural Trends, and is a Faculty Associate of the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact at Northwestern. Her work lies at the nexus of research, policy, and practice.
Prior to joining Northwestern, Jennifer was the Associate Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. She has held appointments at NORC and the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago. Previously, she was a Senior Consultant at WolfBrown.