In Memoriam: Sam Miller (1952-2018)
It is with deep sadness that we share news of the passing of Sam Miller, a truly instrumental leader in the arts.
Sam began his career in theater, and later worked as the Founding Managing Director of Arizona and Pennsylvania Ballets, and Pilobolus as Managing Director. He then went on to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1987 and became its Executive Director in 1990. In the 1990s, Sam founded and directed Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, became the Executive Director of the New England Foundation for the Arts, and later President of Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC).
In 2010, Sam became President of LMCC, where he championed our existing professional development, grant and residency programs. He led LMCC through notable expansions of free cultural programming inclusive of the Arts East River Waterfront and Governors Island. Under Sam’s stewardship, LMCC became the lead presenter of the River To River Festival and reinvented the festival for a contemporary arts direction showcasing talent in sites in Lower Manhattan.
Most notably at LMCC, Sam created the Extended Life Dance Development program to provide choreographers transformational support. Within Extended Life, artists were given opportunities to develop multiple iterations of a work and adapt it to traditional and nontraditional venues, enhancing the sustainability of the artistic process and the careers of participating artists. Over 25 artists passed through the Extended Life Dance Development program, and the work of several of these artists will be featured in the 2018 River To River Festival.
Sam retired from LMCC in 2016, after which he continued his work as a consultant and producer for Men Dancers, and the Ted Shawn Legacy, among others. Sam’s work was recognized throughout his life and most recently he was awarded the 2017 Insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France. Sam was also a lifelong supporter and arts leader for Dance in Cambodia, founding the Cambodian Artists Project.
To countless individuals and organizations, Sam was a mentor, friend, leader, colleague, and inspiration. All of us here at LMCC will forever cherish his memory and are grateful for his work.
LMCC is resolved to continue this critical work with passion and commitment to supporting artists and advocating for the arts.