Victoria Plettner-Saunders is an arts research, planning, and strategy consultant with 30 years experience in the non-profit arts and culture sector. Before joining WolfBrown, Victoria managed her own private consulting practice, v.p.s. cartographie, for 12 years serving the nonprofit arts and culture sector with “navigational” assistance for organizations and individuals. She continues this work with WolfBrown bringing her expertise in planning for communities, arts agencies, and cultural institutions, as well as providing research and analysis on topics such as the creative workforce, arts education, community arts, creative career development, arts leadership, and the cultural workplace.
Describing herself as somewhat of a polymath, Victoria works her strength as a curious learner into her wide-ranging areas of practice including organizational, agency, and community arts planning; cultural policy; the role of the arts in local government and the role of local government in the arts; arts education and community-based arts programs; creative entrepreneurship and the creative workforce; the importance of addressing human resources in the development of the nonprofit arts sector; and leadership and career development.
Victoria has been both a lead and subconsultant on local arts agency planning and community cultural planning projects that have led to measurable impact in communities such as Nashville, TN (Crafting a Creative City), San José, CA (Cultural Connection and Envision San José 2040) and Laguna Beach, CA (Arts Evolution). Strategic planning and assessment projects have assisted a wide range of organizations and initiatives that include the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts at Fairplex, Lux Art Institute, Dance Place at Liberty Station, and the San Diego Cooperative Charter Schools.
Victoria’s deep interest in the creative workforce has led to published articles for the University of Oregon’s CultureWork including, most recently, a look back on her previous articles in Coming of Age: A Decade of Change in the American Arts Workforce. In addition to her research on arts workforce-related issues and generational differences in the workplace, she has supported professional and career development for the next generation of arts managers. Starting San Diego’s first leadership program for emerging arts professionals and conducting statewide research for the James Irvine Foundation on next generation leadership in the arts, Victoria's work has led to initiatives that currently support a network for California emerging arts leaders. In addition, she is the Creative Director of ArtCareerCafe.com, a job search website that helps connect qualified, passionate arts job seekers with employers, provides career transition coaching for those making a change, and provides hiring services for organizations in need of assistance with employee searches.
Victoria has managed small- and mid-sized arts organizations in San Diego including Malashock Dance and the San Diego Dance Institute. From 1998 to 2005, she was on staff at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, first as a Community Arts Coordinator and later as the agency’s first Financial Analyst. With an MA in Arts Education/Community Cultural Services from the University of Oregon, Victoria is a recognized arts education advocate, writer, planner, and researcher on the role of arts education in community settings. She was Chair of Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Council (2010-2013).
Victoria is based in San Diego where she shares a home and home office space with her husband and creative collaborator in life (and sometimes work), David Plettner-Saunders.