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Ellen Naomi Zisholtz

Ellen Naomi Zisholtz is the President of Center for Creative Partnerships.  For ten years, she served as the Director of the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at South Carolina State University, where she was Assistant Professor, teaching Museum Studies in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. She was a Board member for the national Association of African American Museums and a Trustee for Penn Center. She studied art with Rudolf Baranik at the Art Students League in New York City and at New York University. She graduated from Hunter College High School and earned a bachelor's degree from City College of New York and a master's degree in Arts Management from New York University. In addition to her career as a visual artist, Ellen has worked in a variety of art forms - curating visual art exhibitions; producing theatre, music and dance.


Her honors and awards include:

  • 2017 Museum Leadership Award, Association of African American Museums at Conference hosted by National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC

  • 2015 Medal for Social Justice and Civil Rights, National Civil Rights Conference, Commemoration for Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, Historic Mount Zion Methodist Church, awarded by the Mayor, Philadelphia, Mississippi 

  • 2015 Featured Artist for National Civil Rights Conference, Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi

  • 2015 Social Justice Award to the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, at Commemoration for the Orangeburg Massacre 

  • 2011 Governor’s Award for the Humanities for the State of South Carolina

      to the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium

  • First SC State University Faculty Award in Creativity; Awarded at May 2011at Commencement Ceremony; Presented by Congressman James Clyburn

  • Orangeburg Links, Inc.; Award for Service to the Community in the Arts; May 2008


Center for Creative Partnerships has been involved in a number of creative projects including: Creative Roots, a community arts project in Beaufort, S.C. which utilized multi-arts to uproot racism from the community; and the Penn Center Gullah Studies Institute on St. Helena Island, S.C., where Ellen was the consultant for creating the program. She has written strategic plans for Penn Center and developing cultural districts and restoring cultural facilities in Jackson, MS and Charlottesville, VA.

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