Veteran Arts & Cultural Leader Joins Artistic Director Michael Dowling to Lead New Strategic Plan & Vision for Boston Arts Organization
Medicine Wheel Productions is pleased to announce that it has hired Gregory Liakos as the organization’s Interim Executive Director. He joins Medicine Wheel Founder and Artistic Director Michael Dowling and a talented and dedicated team of Board and staff to strengthen the organization and create a new strategic plan and vision.
“We’re delighted to welcome Greg to Medicine Wheel,” said Dr. Rohit Chandra, Chair, Board of Trustees. “Building on nearly three decades under Michael’s inspired artistic leadership, Medicine Wheel is poised to grow and expand its mission to activate the transformative power of art to heal individuals and communities. To succeed we need a strong organizational foundation, and Greg’s arrival is a key step on that path.”
A generous capacity-building grant from the Devonshire Foundation allowed Medicine Wheel to create the position of Interim Executive Director. The Board selected Liakos after interviewing several exceptional arts and cultural leaders as finalists for the position.
“I’m truly honored and grateful,” said Liakos. “I’ve been a proud supporter of Medicine Wheel for many years, and its mission of healing, recovery, and hope through art is more vital and resonant today than ever. We urgently need art, story, music and dance to make meaning of this unique moment and work our way through it to a more beautiful Boston, a greater Commonwealth, and a more hopeful nation. I am eager to get to work to advance that mission through new initiatives and partnerships through 2021 and beyond.”
With this new leadership team Medicine Wheel Productions redoubles its mission to activate the power of the arts to heal individuals and communities, and deepen understanding through creative expression, dialogue, and social action.
Liakos brings to Medicine Wheel more than two decades of experience leading campaigns to support artists, cultural institutions, and the creative economy. As Director of Communications and External Affairs for the Mass Cultural Council, he served as senior leader for New England’s leading public arts funder. He crafted and led strategic communications campaigns that substantially expanded the influence and impact of the agency and its work. Highlights include doubled annual state cultural funding, centered on a groundbreaking Power of Culture branding platform. Liakos led communications and advocacy for the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund, a national model capital program for nonprofit cultural institutions. He worked closely with MASSCreative and supporters in the Massachusetts Legislature to ensure arts and culture had a place in key policy initiatives on Beacon Hill. In 2019 he co-authored the agency’s first plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion following months of public engagement. He also served on the Board of the Mass Humanities, and as liaison to the Mass Arts Funders Network of public and private cultural philanthropies. In 2019 the Mass Artists Leaders Coalition awarded him a“Champion of Artists” Award for his advocacy. Prior to coming to Mass Cultural Council he led public relations for the expansion and transformation of the Peabody Essex Museum, one of the nation’s most venerated cultural institutions. PEM completed a complex, $125 million project that generated strong support from a range of audiences, redefining PEM for a global, 21st-century public. A strong civic and public education advocate, Mr. Liakos is also a member of the Wakefield School Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors of Arts/Learning, an arts education advocacy network.
ABOUT MEDICINE WHEEL/SPOKE
Medicine Wheel Productions activates the transcendent power of art to heal individuals and communities. For nearly three decades Medicine Wheel has supported and partnered with artists of all disciplines to put creative expression at the center of social action and change in Boston and beyond. We forge a common path of equity, civic engagement, and social justice through visual art, dance, poetry and spoken-word performance. Our award-winning public programs empower artists to triage critical community needs, from addiction and alcoholism to racial justice, HIV/AIDS, environmental stewardship and climate change. And Medicine Wheel’s work in creative youth development helps teens and young adults find their voice through art and poetry to deepen self-understanding and make a difference in their schools and communities.