After a 20-year career in developing and executing fundraising, sales and development strategies across the art industry, Grace Meils has been promoted to Deputy Director for Advancement at Newfields
Meils joined the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2014 as the Advancement Services Manager. Her focus quickly expanded to include oversight of the membership program, and has since grown to include donor events, annual giving and campaign strategy. While Meils has held positions at Newfields, member households have grown more than 80% and she has been a part of the philanthropy team that has helped raised significant amounts of money towards Newfields Master Plan priorities, including the Lilly Family Playhouse renovations, the new Beer Garden, the southwest Border Garden restoration and the Gallery Re-imagination project.
Grace Meils has done exceptional work since coming to Newfields and I am delighted she accepted my offer to become the head of our advancement efforts here at Newfields, said Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO. Under her leadership I am confident that our efforts to increase funding for this key cultural institution will increase and that our members and supporters will feel even more engaged.
As Deputy Director of Advancement, Meils will advance Newfields major gifts program, expand annual giving and develop strategies to raise funds for the next set of Master Plan priorities. Meils reflected on the importance of her new role, stating, I am so grateful that we have Newfields as a resource in our community, and I am pleased to spend my days working to ensure its vitality and health for years to come.
Meils graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Art History. Shortly after completing her studies she moved to Seattle, Washington and began her career as an art professional at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Her first role was curatorial assistant in the Asian Art Department. Her early career enabled her to discover her passion and talent for communications and fundraising, leading her to pursue a grant writing position and eventually serve as Director of Development and Communications at Seattles Pratt Fine Arts Center. In the realm of art sales, Meils was Gallery Manager before moving into the role of Marketing and Communications Director at Traver Gallery in Seattle. In 2012, she returned to Indianapolis, where she joined Ripley Auctions as a marketing consultant and Studio Glass Specialist before coming to Newfields in 2014.