Jeff Bell is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Arts Council. Previously, he was the Arts Innovation Coordinator for the City of Wilson, which included being the Executive Director of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. He attended UNC Wilmington and received two bachelor of arts degrees, one in Art History and one in Studio Art and received his MFA from UNC Greensboro. Previously, Bell was the Registrar at Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Exhibitions and Gallery Manager at Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh and the Museum Manager at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham. He has curated exhibitions at CAM Raleigh, 21c Museum Hotel and at the Ackland Art Museum at UNC Chapel Hill. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the state and the region. Bell lives in Wilson, NC with his wife Amanda Duncan, and their four boys.

Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Cohen is known for balancing rigorous research methods with accessible and actionable results. His work at Americans for the Arts has provided new perspectives on the nonprofit arts. He recently published Arts & Economic Prosperity 6: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture Organizations and their Audiences and Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2023, a national public opinion study about the arts. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S., and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. He is the 2024 recipient of the Sidney Yates Advocacy Award for outstanding advocacy on behalf of the performing arts in America. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences, and worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chair of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

Nate McGaha has served as the Executive Director of Arts North Carolina, the statewide advocacy organization for the arts, since 2017 where he works for public funding and policy for the arts and arts education. He helped to create the Joint Caucus on Arts and Arts Education at the NC General Assembly, shepherded the NC Arts High School Graduation Requirement into law, and has led several statewide initiatives for relief, reopening, and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to his work in advocacy, Nate was the Executive Director of Carolina Ballet in Raleigh for five years with Artistic Director Robert Weiss. Before coming to the Raleigh area he was the Director of Operations at Charlotte Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride for seven years after serving as that company’s Resident Lighting Designer since 1996. Nate was also the Production Manager and Lighting Designer for the Chautauqua Ballet Company in the summer months from 1997 through 2009 and toured internationally with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s Complexions Dance Company. He is a graduate of UNC School of the Arts where he received a BFA in Design and Production with concentration in Lighting Design.

Gail Perry is a philanthropy leader, keynote speaker, and author with more than 30 years’ experience renowned for her positivity, expertise and insight. Her company, Gail Perry Group, helps nonprofits reach extraordinary fundraising and capital campaign goals. An internationally recognized fundraising consultant, Gail keynoted over 100 fundraising conferences around the world, and worked with such organizations  as the CDC Foundation, Duke Cancer Center, the Smithsonian, the Trust for Public Land, and the US Olympic Committee. She is listed as one of America’s Top 20 Fundraising Experts, and was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Philanthropy in 2020. Gail is also considered an international leader in successful capital campaign strategies, and co-authored the #1 capital campaign textbook, “Capital Campaigns: Strategies That Work.” Gail Perry and Dr. Kathryn Gamble were recently featured in a Chronicle of Philanthropy column “Fundraising Campaigns Move Forward Despite Pandemic.” Her bestselling book, Fired-Up Fundraising: Turn Board Passion into Action, is recognized as the gold standard guide to building successful fundraising boards. Gail is an active volunteer leader, serving on the US AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Board, her church Vestry and two University boards.She launched her fundraising career at Duke University and then directed the fundraising program at The Kenan-Flagler School of Business, UNC-Chapel Hill.  Ms. Perry holds an MBA and a BA with honors in English from UNC- Chapel Hill.

Charles Phaneuf is an arts leader who has helped grow a variety of organizations, small and large, with a particular emphasis on community engagement, inclusion, and financial sustainability. His career started at UNC-Chapel Hill where he was president of the student union and activities board. While living in Washington, DC, he served as Associate Managing Director of Shakespeare Theatre Company during its expansion into the Harman Center for the Arts, and also helped found the Capital Fringe Festival and the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. Charles returned to Raleigh, NC to become Executive Director of Raleigh Little Theatre, where he led a revitalization of the organization culminating in a successful capital campaign. Under his leadership as President, the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County launched the first-ever Triangle-wide fundraiser for the arts (Big Night In for the Arts) with WRAL/, and partnered with Wake County on the $1 million Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund. Charles has been named Tar Heel of the Week by the News and Observer (2018) and 40 Under 40 by the Triangle Business Journal (2014). He was selected as one of 19 People for 2019 by the Independent Weekly. He currently serves on the board of directors of Arts North Carolina and is a past chair of the Friends of the Gregg Museum at NC State. He enjoys biking, golf and playing music, often with his wife Emily, who is also a musician.

Eileen Bagnall joined Arts Access as Executive Director in January 2022. Eileen most recently served as the Executive Director of ARTabilityAZ, and brings a passion for making arts accessible to her new role. She has an extensive career in arts administration having worked with professional theaters and managing performing arts centers. Eileen graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree focused on Arts Management and Drama Theory and currently serves on the VSA and Accessibility Advisory Board at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.