ArtsMemphis Announces Staff Additions

MEMPHIS, TN (January 16, 2019) – ArtsMemphis president and CEO, Elizabeth Rouse is pleased to announce two additions to the team of professionals.

Josie Secher Ballin joined the ArtsMemphis team as Director of Marketing and Donor Engagement at the close of 2018, and Sarah Watkins joined as coordinator of Art by Design in early 2019. In this newly-created position, Ms. Ballin serves as a member of the organization’s leadership team and spearheads the organization’s marketing, communication, donor engagement and development efforts.

Ms. Ballin comes to ArtsMemphis with over 20 years’ experience developing communication strategy for a wide variety of non-profit organizations including Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Jewish Community Partners, the University of Tennessee Foundation, and the Kappa Delta Foundation. In the past 15 years, her professional experience has allowed her to focus specifically on development communications with an increased emphasis on annual giving, major gifts, planned gifts, and donor stewardship. Ms. Ballin received her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After working in advertising, television and radio, she chose to shift gears and pursue a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Memphis. She is a life-long Memphian.

Sarah Watkins is serving ArtsMemphis as coordinator of the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, Art by Design. The 5-day event highlights Memphis’ interior design community with custom “vignettes” created by more than a dozen top interior designers inside a chic gallery showroom. Art by Design has raised more than $400,000 since 2016 — helping ArtsMemphis make grants to 80 arts groups and artists each year. This year’s event will run May 8-12 in the Pipkin Building at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Ms. Watkins is a top-performing sales executive and has worked locally for Auto-San, LLC, Novo-Nordisk, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and AutoZone. A life-long Memphian, Sarah is a committed community volunteer and previously led several of the community’s most successful fundraising events including co-chair of Dixon Gallery and Gardens Art on Fire, and Cirque Du CMOM benefitting the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Ms. Watkins is a member of the board of directors for the CMOM and a sustaining member for the Junior League of Memphis. She has a BA in English from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.  

About ArtsMemphis:
For more than 55 years, ArtsMemphis has been sustaining Memphis's world-renowned cultural vitality and strengthening local communities through the arts. ArtsMemphis achieves this mission by amplifying awareness, driving support, and building capacity and connections of artists and organizations through grants and services. In 2018, ArtsMemphis awarded $2.4 million in grants to 80 local arts groups and artists. For more information, visit

Posted by Kelsea Lewis at 10:02 AM
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