Shannon Lewthwaite is the Founder and CEO of 2000 Rivers, a DC based consulting firm focused on community building and cultural diplomacy through the arts. Since 2013 she has partnered with local, national and international artists, galleries and art professionals to plan and curate small and large scale exhibitions and to provide a platform for emerging and established artists.
Shannon has served in a leadership capacity with the Phillips Collection Contemporaries, the museum’s young professional group since 2013. She has helped to establish and exponentially grow the group’s membership, assisted in the planning of the annual gala after party and has contributed programming to the Contemporaries calendar.
Shannon is a born connector and has spent the past four years as an Executive Recruiter with Spectrum Financial Services, a boutique staffing firm headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. She has had the opportunity to work closely with the Senior Leadership teams of Fortune 500 companies, financial services firms, real estate investment trusts and DC based start ups. Shannon works closely with each organization to advise them on best practices, organizational structure, scalability, IPO readiness and talent management and retention. These experiences have equipped her with invaluable business skills such as: negotiation, deal execution, relationship management, market research and business development. Her particular focus has been on unique and high profile searches within the financial services, real estate, and specialty tax spaces.
As a long time advocate for the role of arts and culture in the process of positive social transformation, Shannon has worked to find an intersection between the worlds of business and the humanities. She works closely with local DC artists and art professionals on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, business partnerships and grant and fellowship opportunities. She is working to create an alternative architecture that that economically empowers artists, brokers and gallery owners while focusing on social change. Her passion for the fusion between creativity and social entrepreneurship led to her being invited to attend the 2014 Kairos Society Global Summit in Laguna Niguel, California.
Shannon sees art as a powerful diplomatic tool, particularly during times of tyranny, turbulence and war. Cultural and artistic exchange has the ability to create a safe space for continued dialogue between opposing and even warring groups and cultures. It is within this space that we are reminded of our common history and humanity. It is through this exchange of the beautiful and the sacred that we are able to create new and increasingly regenerative possibilities for the future. To this end, Shannon is currently working with Ann Townsend, the founder and CEO of The Museum Exchange on the preliminary planning and research for a forthcoming Middle Eastern Antiquities exhibition. Additionally, she is assisting with fundraising, planning and project management for Art in Exile, a project focusing on Contemporary Syrian artists living and working in exile.
Shannon graduated from James Madison University with her Bachelors degree in Literature, History and International Humanities (Africana Studies concentration). She also had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Legon in Accra, Ghana.