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Meet a Cultural Cabinet Member: Vivian Gast

 

Job Title & Organization: Retired owner/principle designer at Vivian Gast Graphic Design (29 years); Retired account manager at Mangos (advertising agency) (5 years)

Degrees/Certifications: Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) – 4-year certificate in Fashion Design; University of Pennsylvania College of General Studies – courses for credit in foreign literature, creative writing, sociology

Board Service: Earth Wind Fire and Water Greater Philadelphia, USA – Kenya, East Africa, President 2013 – present (Earth Wind Fire and Water (EWFandW) is a Pennsylvania non-profit organization. Operating with a grass-roots perspective, we are committed to teaching environmental sustainability and stewardship through our partnership with Ndabibi Environmental Conservation Centre (NECC), a Kenyan NGO); Ndabibi Environmental Conservation Centre, Ndabibi, Kenya, East Africa, Co-Founder 2005, Project Coordinator 2005 – present; Wagner Free Institute of Science, President 2008 – 2014, Trustee and Chair of Institutional Advancement Committee 1998 – 2015, Member Institutional Advancement Committee 1998 – present (I am the great-great-great niece of William Wagner, the Wagner’s founder); Woodmere Art Museum, President 2006 – 2008, Vice President 2002 – 2006, Trustee and Chair of Marketing Committee 1997 – 2009. 

What keeps you engaged and passionate when it comes to arts and culture?
I grew up in a house full of books – art books, natural history books and Shakespeare! My father was intellectual, my mother practical. They volunteered. I learned the importance of supporting arts and culture, and of “giving back”. I hate the fact that Philadelphia is known for cheese steaks and Rocky when it is SO MUCH MORE! I love the fact that GPCA is reaching out to so many diverse communities and institutions making connections with and through our shared cultural heritage – it’s fantastic!

What do you find most valuable about being a Cultural Cabinet member?
Through membership in the Cultural Cabinet I’m able to learn about and support GPCA’s broad agenda of reaching, incorporating and partnering with audiences, institutions and organizations of all types. In past decades art and culture have been inaccessible for so many. I fully support the “diversity, equity and inclusion” action plan.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I am a licensed pilot certified to fly single engine Cessna aircraft (but haven’t flown in years)!