Suzanne M. Bassani
1940 - Present
Suzanne M. Bassani has been described as “a catalyst for building partnerships among artists, educators, business and community.” She is the founder of the Muse Machine, one of the most successful and widely emulated youth cultural arts organizations in the country. This non-profit is dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to view, experience and participate in artistic activities. The project began in 1982 with involvement from 20 schools: it now operates in more than 130 schools, includes over 1,500 teacher advisors and reaches 70,000 students. This program, invented by Suzy Bassani, has changed the lives of thousands of young people through their exposure to the arts. However, this is not her only contribution to the local arts scene: she was also a founder of the Human Race Theatre Company and helped form the Dayton Visual Arts Center. Suzy Bassani has won the Ohio Arts Council Award for Excellence in Leadership and the Governor’s Award for Arts in Education, among other honors. Although she now lives in Colorado Springs, the arts in Dayton continue to flourish through the organizations she nurtured.