Sharnita C. Johnson, Program Director, Arts
Sharnita C. Johnson is the Program Director for the Foundation’s Arts Program, which fosters a diverse and vibrant arts ecosystem, creates broad-based public support of the arts, and supports communities engaged in creative placekeeping in New Jersey. Sharnita helped catalyze the Foundation’s movement toward equity and social justice in the arts and nonprofit sector, designed and implemented a zero-interest bridge loan program for arts nonprofits, and launched the DataArts platform in New Jersey.
Prior to joining Dodge, Sharnita co-directed a $25 million grantmaking portfolio in civic engagement, racial equity, education, health, and entrepreneurship at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in Michigan. Her arts career began in development at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the historic Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit. Johnson later joined the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, then co-founding the Council of Michigan Foundations Arts Affinity Group, and later joining the staff as the first Program Officer at the Flint-based, Ruth Mott Foundation and establishing Detroit's first community public art program, community+public art Detroit, as a Senior Program Officer at the Skillman Foundation.
She is a Council on Foundations Career Pathways Fellow, ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellow and Marygrove College Distinguished Alumni and gave the TEDx talk “Connected Fates” in 2014. Johnson earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a bachelor's from Marygrove College in Detroit.