About ACI - Principal and Founder
Debra H. Smyers, Principal and Founder
Arts Consulting International, LLC
Debra H. Smyers has over 25 years of experience within the arts and social services sectors. Ms. Smyers is the principal and founder of Arts Consulting International connecting performing and visual artists to audiences worldwide. Her work includes grant writing, strategic planning, fundraising, artistic programming, artist representation, and concert planning. In addition, Ms. Smyers currently is the co-executive director of Fauquier Community Theatre in Warrenton, Virginia.
As an ardent supporter of the Arts, Ms. Smyers has served twice on each of the grant review panels of the Arts Council of Fairfax County and Virginia Commission for the Arts. She has been a speaker at the Art Works Conference with the Virginia Commission for the Arts teaching the session of "The Art of Strategic Grant Writing.” In addition, she is an arts education advocate and has contributed her time to many community projects including assisting in forming the very first elementary school band in Prince William County.
Currently an adjunct professor in the Arts Management Program at George Mason University, Professor Smyers has taught courses at both the master’s level and undergraduate level including: Grant Writing in the Arts, Introduction to Grant Writing, Strategic Planning in the Arts, Performing Arts Management and Seminar in Arts Management. Her classes reflect her arts practitioner view as she challenges each student by assigning projects that reflect real type work in the arts. In addition, Ms. Smyers expanded the Arts Management Internship Program adding over 40 new internship providers
On the artistic side of the arts, Ms. Smyers is a SAG-AFTRA actress, working in film projects including all seasons of the Netflix series House of Cards, HBO's VEEP, AMC's Turn, and the film "Jackie".
Continuing to work with social services organizations. Ms. Smyers' special area of interest is to raise money for social service organizations through arts events. Ms. Smyers is the founder of Waste Not Want Not, a not-for-profit in Northeast Florida, which is in its 29th successful year of serving the homeless and preventing hunger and poverty.
Ms. Smyers holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in Arts Management from George Mason University.