Who We Are

The Art of Change Co-Founders Karen DeTemple and Nicole Polletta Portrait


Karen DeTemple is a strategic fundraiser with over 25 years of experience and a proven track record of success in all aspects of fundraising on a national, regional and local level working with forward-thinking organizations in the arts and the social services. Her expertise includes securing funding, developing strategies, building partnerships, engaging the next generation of donors, aligning, activating and engaging key stakeholders, and managing all aspects of strategic execution. She has consistently exceeded goals while adhering to timelines and budgets.

From 2005 to 2011, Karen was the President of Karen DeTemple Consulting in Boston, Massachusetts, where she focused on fundraising, strategic planning and events for numerous high-level clients, including the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

For more than a decade before that, Karen worked for some of the nation’s most esteemed cultural institutions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Exploratorium, San Francisco; The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Karen has spoken about her work at the inaugural Art World Conference in New York City, the Social Innovation Forum and Women In Development in Boston and RAISE: The Event Fundraising Conference in Chicago. Karen graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.


Nicole Polletta has over 15 years experience establishing the message, platform and outreach strategies to effectively engage high-profile audiences and strategic partners for international corporate and nonprofit institutions with a focus on the contemporary visual arts.

From 2012 to 2015, Nicole served as the inaugural Director of VIP Initiatives at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts. While there, she co-led PEM’s partnership with Art Basel Miami Beach Associate Sponsor Audemars Piguet to present Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen. Nicole established VIP patron travel programs to Art Basel Miami Beach, Frieze New York and Santa Fe Indian Market, VIP cultivation events at Art Basel Hong Kong, The European Fine Art Fair Maastricht and in Palm Beach, and reinvigorated VIP museum-based events.

In the early 2000s and for almost a decade Nicole worked with FITZ & CO in New York City, becoming the inaugural Director of VIP and Sponsor Relations. While there, she conceived and realized more than 200 art-based experiences. She effectively connected individual collectors, museum trustees, collecting groups, and other key global constituencies for such high-level clients as Art + Auction, ArtReview, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach where she led U.S. VIP and Sponsor Relations, Art Dealers Association of America, Brant Publications, Fondation Beyeler, the Hugo Boss Prize, Madison Square Park Conservancy, MCA Denver, RFR Lever House Collection, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sharjah Biennial, Starn Studio, the Association of Professional Art Advisors, the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, The Glass House, Watermill Center, and Walker Art Center, among others. Additionally, she activated sponsorships for numerous high-level brands including AXA Art Insurance Corporation, Cartier, NetJets, and UBS.

Nicole has spoken about her work at the inaugural Art World Conference, Christie's Education and Fordham University all in New York City, RAISE: The Event Fundraising Conference in Chicago and Women In Development in Boston, among others, and has been featured in numerous publications. 

In addition to her audience development work, she has maintained an artistic practice for more than 20 years. She graduated from Fordham University in New York City.

Photography: Portrait of Karen and Nicole by © Kathy Tarantola Photography