Helping funders and arts organizers realize their vision since 1996.



Our special thanks go to Callahan Consulting, whose written text and generous advice and collaborative work have added important substance and clarity to the [Impact Arts] site as a whole. Callahan’s extensive research… forms the heart of the site.

— Pam Korza and Barbara Schaeffer Bacon, Animating Democracy

Suzanne Callahan, CFRE, Founder
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Suzanne Callahan founded Callahan Consulting for the Arts in 1996 to help artists, arts organizations, and funders realize their vision through services that include strategic planning, resource development, evaluation, research, and philanthropic counsel.  Callahan brings 30 years’ experience as a national funder, having begun as Senior Specialist for the Dance Program at the National Endowment for the Arts and later run national funding initiatives.  Among the company’s clients served nationally have been the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Urban Bush Women.  She currently advises on the design and management of ArtsForward for the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.  Her firm designed and managed Dance/USA’s Fellowships to Artists program, as well as its Engaging Dance Audiences and National College Choreography Initiatives. While at the NEA, she received a Distinguished Service Award for her leadership as Chair to the agency’s AIDS Working Group and for her efforts to address the issues of AIDS and health insurance for artists. The firm has conducted research on Small and Midsized Presenters (SAMP) for the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP).  

Her evaluation writings have been published in the Grantmakers for the Arts Reader, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the journals of national arts service organizations. Her book Singing Our Praises: Case Studies in the Art of Evaluation, published by APAP, was awarded Outstanding Publication of the Year from the American Evaluation Association (AEA). She also produced the Dance/USA book Dance from the Campus to the Real World (and Back Again): A Resource Guide for Artists, Faculty and Students; both of her books are used as college texts.  

She has served as panelist or site visitor for the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. A Certified Fund Raising Executive based in Washington, DC, she has spoken and published for many national and local arts organizations and funders including Dance/USA, the National Performance Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and the Association Foundation Group.   

A former dancer and dance teacher, Callahan holds a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from George Washington University, where she was awarded a graduate teaching fellowship, Professional Certification in Fundraising from George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Policy from Northwestern University. She completed post-graduate study in program evaluation and research methods at George Washington University. She was appointed as Affiliate Researcher of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Office Administrator
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Above: Suzanne Callahan (center) with Kennedy Center honorees Jawole Zollar (left) and Diane McIntyre (right).