Speaker Date Topic
Dr. Dina Bennett, American Jazz Museum Feb 23, 2024
Kansas City and All That Jazz
Kansas City and All That Jazz

Dr. Dina M. Bennett is the Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, a member of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliation Program. The mission of the American Jazz Museum is to celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through performance, exhibition, education, and research at one of the country's jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine. Bennett is responsible for overseeing the permanent collection and institutional archives of the museum, including all loans and temporary exhibits.

Prior to this position, Bennett spent three years as the Founding Curatorial Director of the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee.

As an ethnomusicologist, Bennett specializes in African American music-culture and has honed her expertise in telling the story of African American music and its various genres through her curatorial work in music museums. With years of experience in exhibition design, she brings a strong understanding of storytelling and the importance of establishing the historical and cultural context for interpretation.

Bennett is a native of Topeka, Kansas. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Washburn University, a master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a minor in African American & African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University. WhiBennett has over 30 years’ experience in the music field and is an accomplished pianist.


DeAngela Burns-Wallace Mar 01, 2024
CEO Kauffman Foundation

DeAngela Burns-Wallace Bio

Bio: DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Ed.D., is president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. With more than $2.5B in assets, the Kauffman Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States, and approaches its work from the middle of the country with a solid Midwest mindset – working to build practical and workable solutions to today’s challenges.  DeAngela will be speaking on her vision for the Foundation and how that focus is on KC while also having a national impact in the field of entrepreneurship.

Dr. Burns-Wallace is an award-winning public sector leader and educator who has championed policies and leveraged resources to improve lives and communities around the world. For more than 25 years, her leadership has created equitable and broader access to opportunities, shaped policies that expand resources, and better positioned communities to thrive intellectually, economically, and civically.

Through her work with educational institutions, government, business leaders, and community organizations, Dr. Burns-Wallace is recognized for her ability to envision and implement innovative, data-informed solutions in dynamic and complex organizations that yield sustainable impact.

Service is also a cornerstone of her journey. Dr. Burns-Wallace was elected to the Stanford University Board of Trustees in 2020, and she previously has held board roles in numerous local, regional, and national organizations.

Dr. Burns-Wallace’s depth of experience has made her a sought-after expert, keynote speaker, and national trainer on topics including diversity, equity, and inclusion; talent development; organizational behavior; operational effectiveness; strategic management; and authentic leadership.

Dr. Burns-Wallace holds a dual bachelor’s degree in international relations and African American studies from Stanford University, a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently holds a faculty appointment at the University of Southern California. 

The most important title to this Kansas City native is mom to her son, Xavier.



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