The Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC), located in the heart of Clifton’s gaslight neighborhood, has hired Leslie Mooney as executive director. She will succeed Ruth Dickey as the organization’s second executive director since its founding in 2008.
Before joining CCAC, Mooney served as director of development for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. In that role, she worked with various private and government funders on multi-million dollar grants. For example, she secured a $1.8 million grant from the Racial Healing initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
She also created Freedom Center Business Collaborative, a group of corporate partners interested in diversity, inclusion, philanthropy, and community engagement. In her role at the Freedom Center, Mooney brought communities together, raised funds, and increased awareness.
Mooney said she was attracted to CCAC’s passionate staff, mission, and commitment to the Cincinnati arts community. She said she plans to position CCAC as a leading arts organization in Greater Cincinnati.
“I want to provide imaginative, innovative, and energetic leadership to continue to distinguish CCAC as a leader in Cincinnati,” said Mooney. “My personal mission is to educate, connect and inspire communities in order to create a deeper and more fulfilling human experience.”
Before her role as a fundraising professional, she planned and executed public lectures, workshops, films, and teacher institutes. She also wrote educational curricula, designed exhibitions, recruited volunteers, and formed partnerships with other cultural institutions citywide.
“When my husband and I moved to Cincinnati in 2008, we were impressed by the quality and diversity of the city’s cultural offerings,” said Mooney. “As a resident of Clifton, I’m personally invested in the community and committed to enriching the lives of those within and around the neighborhood.”
Mooney is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Diversity Committee. She has also tutored at Hays Porter Elementary.
Mooney earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Georgetown College and a master’s degree in Public History from Northeastern University. She also attended Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica, where she studied Spanish. A Kentucky native, Mooney moved to Cincinnati from Boston in 2010. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two sons.