Artist INC Topic Experts


​Grants Expert

Julia Cole is an interdisciplinary public artist, an educator, and a community strategist.

Julia’s first career was as a biologist. She then went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is now part of a collaborative team that makes ecologically and community-oriented art for public spaces, much of which has been funded by grants.

Julia also works with the Charlotte Street Foundation coordinating a funding opportunity for socially engaged, interdisciplinary art projects called Rocket Grants She currently teaches at KCAI, and is also a co-founder of Rad School, a free, experimental, community-based learning program now in its third year.

Brian Hearn headshot 2014

Writing Expert


Marketing Expert

Margaret A. Keough joined Mid-America Arts Alliance, a regional arts organization (serving Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas and beyond) in March 2014 in the newly created position of director of marketing and communications. She has more than 24 years of museum experience at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, both in Kansas City, MO. She holds a B.A. in art history and a B.S. in advertising from the University of Kansas, and an Executive MBA from the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University. She was also selected for the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leaders: Next Generation program. She has presented on marketing related topics at the American Alliance of Museums, National Arts Marketing Project, Association of Midwest Museums and Mountain Plains Museum conferences; and has served as president of the Kansas City Attractions Association.

Brian Hearn is an award-winning curator, writer, and filmmaker. He currently is a co-director of PLUG Projects, a Kansas City based curatorial collaborative dedicated to contemporary artists, and works as collection manager for the Kansas City Collection/The Collectors Fund, an art ownership and investment fund. From 1995 to 2014 Brian was film curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art where he enhanced the state’s film culture through screenings, events, and gallery exhibitions. Since 2003 he has contributed to Oklahoma City’s deadCENTER Film Festival as a programmer, board member, and panel moderator. His arts writing appears in periodicals such as ArtDesk, Temporary Art Review, Art Focus Oklahoma, THIS LAND, and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. Brian has written, produced and directed moving image media from animated and documentary films to art gallery performances.

Public Speaking Expert

Jennifer Martin is a theatre movement specialist and has trained performing artists for 45 years. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro and a PhD from the University of Michigan. As a choreographer her work has been seen locally at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival , The Coterie and The Unicorn Theatres as well as Seattle Rep, Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., Connecticut Repertory Theatre and the Northlight Theatre in Chicago. Dr. Martin is CPO for MartinFour, a consulting firm specializing in face-to-face, nonverbal message delivery for professionals in the areas of law, medicine, business, education and the arts. For the past 29 years she has been on the faculty of UMKC’s Professional Actor Training Program and now holds a James C. Olson Professorship. She happily calls Kansas City her artistic home.

Legal Expert

Donald R. Simon is president of Simon Business Consulting, Inc., a firm concentrating in media- and arts-based entrepreneurship. He also teaches law, business, and communications courses at The Art Institutes International - Kansas City, Kansas City Kansas Community College, and Avila University. Don lectures and writes extensively on legal and business matters and has appeared in Billboard, DownBeat, and Screen. Before relocating to Kansas City, he concentrated his legal practice in entertainment and intellectual property matters. His clients included musicians, filmmakers, producers, and entertainment companies. Prior to becoming an attorney, Don worked for seven years in the broadcasting, cable, and publishing industries as an award-winning producer and director. He also played bass guitar in several bands. Don is a Master of Arts (Media Communications) Candidate at Webster University. He received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (Intellectual Property) degrees from The John Marshall Law School and his Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Missouri Southern State University.

Finance Expert

Dean Vivian is a graduate of Webster Conservatory and has been a working actor for 35 years. He joined Actor's Equity in 1981, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 1983, and the Screen Actors Guild in 1995. He was elected by his peers to represent them to Equity for eight years, and again elected by his peers to represent them on the AFTRA National Board (now in his 18th year) as well as the SAG-AFTRA Joint Board of Directors. Dean was also recently elected as one of the 11 Member-Trustees for the multi-billion dollar AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund. In 1985, he began helping his fellow artists with their taxes and finances, currently with 300 clients. In 2009 he was designated a Subject Matter Expert by the State of Missouri regarding The Arts and Taxes. He's also a recent recipient of a Life Award from KC's AFTRA Local, honoring 25 years of volunteer service. (photo by Larry Levenson)