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Susan McCalmont

Senior Fellow

President, Creative Oklahoma, Inc. Co-Founder & Director, Squiggle Consulting, Inc.


Providing innovative leadership at national, state, and local levels, Susan has served a variety of nonprofit organizations and public institutions over the last 30 years in Washington, D.C., and the states of Virginia and Oklahoma.


Susan has established national and statewide recognition in Oklahoma through her 20-years leadership of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, a private family foundation, where she initiated several collaborative projects impacting the growth of arts education and culture in the state.


Susan provided founding leadership of the DaVinci Institute, a higher education consortium and creativity think-tank; Oklahoma A+ Schools, a statewide network of 75 schools devoted to creativity and whole school reform; establishment of Oklahoma City’s first arts magnet and arts charter high schools, The Classen School for Advanced Studies and Harding Fine Arts Center Charter; facilitation of the first Cultural Plan for Oklahoma City and establishment of the Central Oklahoma Cultural Development Corporation; the Oklahoma Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts, a consortium of faith-based institutions and arts organizations furthering art based learning and understanding; establishment of the Civic Center Music Hall Foundation; and Creative Oklahoma, the first statewide organization in the US focused on economic growth and life quality improvement through cross-sector education, commerce, and culture initiatives driven by creativity and innovation.


With the establishment of Creative Oklahoma in 2006, Susan worked closely with Sir Ken Robinson to develop the organization’s societal change strategies and in 2010 organized the Creativity World Forum in Oklahoma City. As founding board member and now as Creative Oklahoma’s President, Susan has helped establish the State of Creativity Forum as an annual national networking and educational event and Oklahoma as the only internationally recognized District of Creativity in the US through the Districts of Creativity Network, based in Flanders, Belgium. Susan is also a founder of the National Creativity Network linking a network of 15 creative regions in the US and Canada.


Previous to her re-location to Oklahoma in 1989, Susan served as the Executive Director of the Historic Hoses Association of America, the Center for Historic Houses at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the American Business Conference, a business lobbying group , all based in Washington, D.C. She also served as Main Street Director and Economic Development Director for the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia.


Recognized for her philanthropic and community development contributions, Susan was a recipient of the 2004 Governor’s Arts Award, the 2011 DaVinci Institute Fellow’s Award, and serves on a number of boards including the National Creativity Network, Creative Oklahoma, Oklahoma A+ Schools, the University of Oklahoma School of Fine Arts Board of Visitors, the Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School of Music Board, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower, the Cultural Development Corporation and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and Harding Fine Arts Center Advisory Boards.


With her national colleague in imaginative and creative education, Susan co-founded Squiggle Consulting with Scott Noppe-Brandon of the Lincoln Center Institute in 2013 to further develop national and international projects advancing imagination, creativity, and innovation in education, business, and community sectors.


Susan earned her Bachelors of Arts at the University of Mary Washington in Art History. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and son.

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