The National Society of Arts and Letters of Florida (NSAL) is delighted to announce that Kirsten Stephenson will serve as the new president of the nonprofit, which provides emerging artists, in multiple disciplines, with scholarships and competitions. Stephenson is well-known in the South Florida philanthropic community for her exceptional leadership and innovative fundraising initiatives. She has served NSAL as an executive board member for many years, providing the organization with creative new programs and chairing key events including the 2022 Star Maker Awards Gala. The Boca Raton-based nonprofit has been supporting young local artists for over 40 years and is a chapter of the national organization, which was formed in 1943. To learn more visit www.nsalflorida.org.
“I am thrilled to lead this incredible organization,” stated Stephenson. “Having served NSAL in many capacities, I’ve had the privilege to witness the enormous impact our support provides for the magnificent young talent in our community. During my tenure, I am determined to enhance NSAL’s impact by expanding our support base while developing exciting new platforms to showcase our brilliant emerging artists.”
Stephenson has always been compelled to support local nonprofits. Her philanthropic career was incubated with the Junior League of Boca Raton where she won the honor of the most volunteer hours as a provisional. Later, she excelled in leadership roles within the organization including serving as Chair of the Florida’s State Public Affairs Committee, VP of Planning, and co-chair of the Women Volunteer of the Year event.
In 2022, Stephenson finished a two-year term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Boca Raton Historical Society and Schmidt Museum, leading the board through major milestones including a new, fully interactive and state-of-the art award winning museum, new branding, and a new website. In addition, she has served as Investment Committee Chair at the museum, helping to oversee a multimillion-dollar endowment and assisting in choosing a professional financial company to safely maintain investments. She also chaired their ‘Meet Your New Downtown’ fundraiser and served as a Vintner Dinner Co-Chair.
During her time on NSAL’s board, she brainstormed, created, and implemented a pilot chapter at the high school level that encouraged and rewarded students in the arts, resulting in the first ever national high school pilot project eagerly watched by the national organization. She mentored this group of students the first year, and true to form, her daughter served as co-president of this group of students. This grew into four high schools in both Broward and Palm Beach counties, earning her the nomination from the National Society of Arts and Letters as their 2016 Woman Volunteer of the Year nominee. She went on to co-chair the 2022 Star Makers Awards Gala and has hosted many NSAL events in her home and has heavily recruited for the organization.
As president of NSAL of Florida, she will be working with board members to secure donations, manage competitions, and host the organization’s signature event, The Star Maker Awards, which is scheduled for March 26, 2024.
NSAL aims to discover talented young people at the beginning of their careers and provides scholarships and competitions in art, dance, drama, literature, music, and musical theatre, and works to advance their careers and creative opportunities. Excelling at the chapter level allows competitors to progress to national competitions and many stars have been discovered. Among these are Shirley MacLaine, actress/dancer/writer; Jessye Norman, opera singer; Megan Hilty, Broadway and television star; Awadagin Pratt, pianist; and Amanda McKerrow, prima ballerina, and opera star Nadine Sierra who was discovered through the Florida Chapter.
For more information about NSAL scholarships, competitions and how to become a supporter, please visit www.NSALFlorida.org
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