George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University
Meet an Alum

Elena Forbes

2016, Arts Management, MA


Elena Forbes is an arts manager and fundraiser with specialized experience in managing seven-figure+ portfolios for arts and humanities nonprofits. She is currently a Director with Elevate, a Washington, DC-based company that provides nonprofits with comprehensive support in building and maintaining sustainable, robust grants portfolios.

As a Director, Elena works with multiple arts nonprofits to develop and execute custom fundraising strategies and provide leadership and expertise on multi-person client teams. Her experience spans all sectors and disciplines, and she has written grants for initiatives ranging from scholarly research projects to performances and exhibitions to arts and literacy-building education programs to rare materials acquisitions. Prior to joining Elevate, she has held development positions with The Ellington Fun, Folger Shakespeare Library, GALA Hispanic Theatre, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, and the DC Youth Orchestra Program. Elena’s passion remains firmly rooted in serving the performing arts and arts education sectors, and for exploring new ways to optimize strategic planning, evaluation, and infrastructure development processes for arts nonprofits.

Elena is also on the Board of Directors for Gourmet Symphony, volunteers as a judge for the Helen Hayes Awards, and often acts as a Grant Review Panelist for multiple local and national grant makers. She holds a MA in Arts Management from George Mason University and a BM in Instrumental Music Education from The Catholic University of America.

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