Victoria Plettner-Saunders is an arts research, planning and strategy consultant with more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit arts and culture sector.

She is the founder and Principal Consultant for The Arts at Work providing human-centered arts and culture consulting that places people at the core of planning and research projects. Her naturally collaborative style engages clients through teamwork, honest communication and relationship building.

In April 2021, she left WolfBrown following 4 years working with clients such as the John S and James L Knight Foundation, The Flint Institute of Music, Arts Cleveland and the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. Today she is developing a new firm called "The Arts at Work" that provides human-centered arts and culture consulting that places people at the core of planning and research projects. Her naturally collaborative style engages clients through teamwork, honest communication and relationship building.

From 2005 - 2017 Victoria managed her own private consulting practice, v.p.s. cartographie; serving the nonprofit arts and culture sector with “navigational” assistance for organizations and individuals. 

Describing herself as somewhat of a polymath, Victoria works her strength as a curious learner into her wide ranging areas of practice including organizational, agency and community arts planning; cultural policy; the role of the arts in local government and the role of local government in the arts; arts education and community-based arts programs; creative entrepreneurship and the creative workforce; the importance of addressing human resources in the development of the nonprofit arts sector; and leadership and career development. 

 

Victoria has been both a lead consultant and subconsultant on local arts agency planning and community cultural planning projects that have led to measurable impact in communities such as Nashville, TN San José, CA and Laguna Beach, CA. 

 

Victoria’s deep interest in the creative workforce has led to published articles for the University of Oregon’s CultureWork including, most recently, a look back on her previous articles in Coming of Age: A Decade of Change in the American Arts Workforce. In addition to her research on arts workforce related issues and generational differences in the workplace she has supported professional and career development for the next generation of arts managers. 

She started San Diego’s first leadership program for emerging arts professionals. Her statewide research for the James Irvine Foundation on next generation leadership in the arts led to initiatives that currently support a network for California emerging arts leaders.

She has managed small and mid-sized arts organizations in San Diego including Malashock Dance and the San Diego Dance Institute. From 1998 – 2005 she was on staff at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture first as a Community Arts Coordinator and later as the agency’s first Financial Analyst. 

 

With an MA in Arts Education/Community Cultural Services from the University of Oregon, Victoria is a recognized arts education advocate, writer, planner and researcher on the role of arts education in community settings. Victoria has a BA in Political Science from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She chaired the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Council from 2010-2013 and started the first Emerging Leaders of Arts and Culture professional development program in San Diego in 2004.

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Contact

  • Victoria Plettner-Saunders

  • (619) 540-2925

  • vsaunders(at)cox.net

​Areas of Expertise

  • Organizational Development 

  • Talent Acquisition & Retention

  • Human Resources Planning and Support

  • Strategic / Business Planning

  • Project Development and Management

  • Research and Analysis

Special Spheres of Knowledge

  • Emerging and Mid-Career Arts Leadership

  • Creative Workforce Development

  • Human Capital in the Arts 

  • Arts Education

  • Financial Management

  • State and Local Arts Agencies