Meet the Leadership

Compassionate. Transparent. Curious.


Alison T. McNeil

Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Alison T. McNeil is a nationally recognized strategist and creative entrepreneur. She leads with the intention of creating resources, removing roadblocks and designing roadmaps to make arts and culture accessible to all. Alison’s work is rooted in arts advocacy and is at the intersection between philanthropy, strategy and equity. Every effort she’s launched and initiative she’s contributed to has been rooted in those principles.

She successfully strengthens operations, develops strategic partnerships, and documents impact for emerging leaders, artists, performing arts administrators, colleges administrators, grantmakers, and government officials. She’s led multi-million-dollar change efforts that have directly informed policy, grantmaking, and strategic partnerships. She’s been afforded the opportunity to plan and shape vision with many of the organizations that positively contribute to making the arts and education accessible to all including but not limited to the  U.S. Department of Education, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Step Afrika!, WolfBrown, MetLife Foundation, Capitol Jazz Productions, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Recently named a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Leadership Center for Excellence for her efforts in the arts and culture sector, Alison has served as a thought leader on numerous grant panels, boards, conference panels, and advisory committees including the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Step Afrika!, Plural, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Arts Council of Fairfax County, Alexandria Commission for the Arts and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. She was recently appointed Arts Commissioner for Arlington’s Commission for the Arts-where she serves on the grants committee.

Trained as a dancer, she is committed to creating equitable funding for artists. She is co-founder of the Maynor Biggers Artist Fund and a partner and co-founder of Third Eye Cultural Collaborative, a social enterprise dedicated to delivering organizational development support services to arts and culture organizations. In 2009, she co-founded Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA), a membership-based service organization dedicated to promoting equity and fortifying leadership in the performing arts field.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hampton University and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from American University.

When Alison’s not advocating for the arts, she’s spending time with her nephew, listening to music, or dancing to one of her favorite Stevie Wonder songs.

To connect with Alison, email her at alison@mcearts.com.

“We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

~John F. Kennedy