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Amy E. Herman, JD, MA

Keynote Address: The Art of Perception

What does a charitable planner meeting a donor or client have in common with FBI agents, medical students and State Department officials? For all of them, astute observation is critical to professional success. And all of them have sharpened their powers of observation and communication by studying great works of art with the guidance of Amy Herman through her innovative program, The Art of Perception. As a former director of education for The Frick Collection in New York and an attorney, Amy brings her background in art history, law and educational programming together to teach philanthropy professionals to enhance visual acuity, objectivity and use (and misuse) of assumptions and perceptions -- all of which contribute to success when engaging with donors and clients.

Breakout Session:The Art of Perception In Depth 

The Art of Perception breakout session will provide an in depth exploration on how analyzing works of art can enhance donor development. This session will focus on challenging assumptions, fostering creative problem solving, both individually and collectively, and encouraging better decision making by incorporating multiple perspectives. In addition to using art as data to address the role of non-verbal communication and how it relates to work with donors and colleagues, the workshop will use images of paintings, sculptures, and photography as tools to help participants reconsider bias and related ethical issues in the field of donor relations. With a mandate that inspires innovation, this highly involved workshop will not only emphasize better stewardship, but also encourage attendees to learn from others. Attendees will also learn how to maximize opportunities to incorporate diverse perspectives into their everyday decision-making with donors, colleagues, and institutions.


Amy E. Herman, JD, MA designed, developed and conducts all sessions of The Art of Perception using the analysis of works of art to improve perception and communication skills. Originally designed in 2000 to help medical students improve their observation and communication skills with patients, the program was subsequently adapted for law enforcement professionals and leaders in education, philanthropy, the military, and Fortune 500 companies. She currently conducts the program nationally for a wide range of agencies and organizations including the New York City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the Department of Justice as well as for hospitals, medical schools, and first responders. The program has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The CBS Evening News, and Smithsonian Magazine, among others.  Herman holds an AB in International Affairs, a Juris Doctor, and an MA in Art History. Her book, Visual Intelligence, was published in May 2016 and was a New York Times Best Seller.
Amy Herman Headshot

Amy E. Herman, JD, MA

Opening Keynote Address

Monday, July 24 | 8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.  
MEC Ballroom

Breakout Session #2
Monday, July 24 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.