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Ellen Zisholtz Headshot.tiff


Ellen Naomi Zisholtz is the President of the Center for Creative Partnerships. She is a curator, an artist, a producer, an educator, and a manager. Her work in the arts, humanities and civil rights has encompassed programming, producing, curating, development, fundraising, grant writing, audience development/marketing, managing, board development, strategic planning, communication, social justice programming, diversity training, and teaching.


For 10 years, she served as the Director of the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at South Carolina State University, where she was an Assistant Professor, teaching Museum Studies in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. She was a Board member of the National Association of African American Museums and a Trustee for Penn Center. Her accomplishments include: 


Social Justice Cinema Programs with filmmakers at SC State, Penn Center, and OCtech; Decoding the Stars: Negro Spirituals and the Underground Railroad, International Planetarium Conference, Copernicus Center, Warsaw, Poland; Creative Roots: Using the Arts to Uproot Racism in Young People, Beaufort, SC; Civil Rights Symposium and Gullah Studies Institute, Penn Center, SC.


Restoring and operating the Alamo Theatre in conjunction with Smith Robertson Museum as the Centerpiece for the Preservation of Farish Street as an African American Cultural/Entertainment District, Jackson, Miss.; Strategic/Marketing Plan for the Paramount Theatre as a Cultural Center, Charlottesville, Va; Penn Center Strategic Plan, St. Helena, SC.


Produced reading of Rose Leiman Goldemberg’s Letters Home with Kathleen Chalfant at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in celebration of the archiving of Goldemberg’s work in the Billy Rose Collection (April 3, 2017); Women’s Project and American Place Theatre: first production of Letters Home; First Producing Director, Rutgers Theatre Company, Rutgers University: first production of Bill Mastrosimone’s Extremities; Colonnades Theatre: Victims of Duty by Eugene Ionesco; INTAR Hispanic American Art Center; George Street Playhouse; Crossroads Theatre Company for which she wrote the originating grant and worked on NJ Network/ABC Arts TV production of A Lovesong for Miss Lydia by Don Evans with Claudia McNeil and Earl Hyman.


Count Basie Theatre, Executive Director Theatre, and Arts Council: produced concerts including Max Roach’s To the Max; BB King, Mardi Gras with Dr. John and directed County Arts Council for 52 municipalities; Executive Director, produced concerts for Rod Rodgers and Bill T. Jones Dance Companies (Prague Dance Festival, Czech Republic; Budapest Arts Festival, Hungary; Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland; Arhus Festival, Denmark; Lyon Dance Festival, France; Montreal Dance Festival, Canada).


Director/Curator of South Carolina State University’s I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium and Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts; taught Arts Administration at New York University and at Rutgers University; Faculty Advisor, Gallatin School, NYU.


 I.P. Stanback Museum, SC; Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center, SC; SOHO on Sixth, NYC; Solo exhibitions York W. Bailey Museum, Penn Center, SC; Meridian Museum of Art, MS;  Cochran Gallery, LaGrange, GA.



2023 Social Justice Award, awarded to Ellen Zisholtz at Commemoration for the Orangeburg Massacre

2017 Museum Leadership Award, Association of African American Museums at Conference hosted by National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC

2015 Medal for Social Justice and Civil Rights, National Civil Rights Conference, Commemoration for Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, Historic Mount Zion Methodist Church, awarded by the Mayor, Philadelphia, Mississippi 

2015 Featured Artist for National Civil Rights Conference, Art with a Conscience, Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi

2015 Social Justice Award to the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, at Commemoration for the Orangeburg Massacre 

2011 Governor’s Award for the Humanities for the State of South Carolina to the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium

2011 First SC State University Faculty Award in Creativity; Awarded at May 2011at Commencement Ceremony; Presented by Congressman James Clyburn

2008 Orangeburg Links, Inc.; Award for Service to the Community in the Arts; May 2008

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2017 Award Luncheon, Association of African American Museums, Washington, DC

2010 Congressman James Clyburn presenting Most Creative Faculty Award, SC State University

2015 Civil Rights and Social Justice Medal, Philadelphia,MS


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