Jerome President Ben Cameron to retire

Sep 26, 2022


ST. PAUL, MN, September 26, 2022—The Jerome Foundation today announces that earlier this year President Ben Cameron shared his intention of retiring early in 2023 and that a search for his successor has now begun. The Foundation has chosen Korn Ferry, the global organizational consulting firm, to lead this process.

Originally established in 1964, the Jerome Foundation is named for its late founder, painter/ photographer/ composer/ screenwriter and Academy Award-winning film director Jerome Hill (1905-1972). With an annual budget of $5.7M, the Foundation today supports vocational artists at early points in their careers in Minnesota (where Hill was born and raised) and New York City (where he spent much of his creative life), as well as nonprofit organizations in those same locations that offer ongoing programs, services or activities for such artists.

With Cameron’s arrival in late 2015, the Foundation moved to a new strategic framework centered in clearly defined core values of diversity, risk/innovation and humility. Subsequent shifts of particular note have been the Foundation’s evolution to its current dependence on community panel adjudication for determining grantees, the adoption of multi-year grants for all major programs, the launch of a new Fellowship program for individual artists, the move to greater flexibility in use of grant funds, the decision to deliberately exceed the legal minimum 5% annual spending rate for a five-year period in response to urgent needs in the arts community arising from COVID and/or social reform and an ever-deepening exploration of diversity, equity and inclusion, both internally in its culture and externally in its grantmaking. In its most recent year, 65% of Jerome-funded organizations or programs have been BIPOC led, 86% of individual grantees BIPOC artists and 78% of the Board BIPOC.

Board Chair Kate Barr said, “Ben has embodied the foundation’s values in his leadership throughout his tenure and brought insight and vision to every aspect of the organization. He has led the team in re-imagining and implementing grant programs and internal systems that respond to seismic changes in the arts ecosystem. We are well positioned to continue to build on the foundation that Ben has put in place.”

Cameron said, “It has been an honor to work with the Jerome Foundation and its superb staff. I am especially grateful for the stewardship of the Members of the Jerome Corporation and for the insight, collegiality and passion of our Board of Directors, who represent true thought leaders in the arts world. Being in the same space with them all and hearing them think and share has been the highlight of my career.” A fuller retirement statement from Cameron can be found here.

A search committee composed of current and former Directors and Members has been formed and is being chaired by Sanjit Sethi, current Jerome Director and President of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Please view the job description for more information about the position, and contact Korn Ferry at [email protected] with nominations, applications and further questions.

For more information about this announcement, please contact Andrea Brown at 651-925-5615 or [email protected]


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