Maurine Knighton has worked in the non-profit sector as a senior administrator, fund-raiser and consultant since 1987. She is the current Senior Vice President of Grantmaking, at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, she was the Senior Vice President for Program and Nonprofit Investment at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), where she was responsible for overseeing the organization's arts and cultural sector efforts in the Upper Manhattan communities of Central and West Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. Ms. Knighton also serves as the Executive Producer for dance and be still arts, the literary and performing arts organization founded by poet Sekou Sundiata.
Prior to joining UMEZ, Ms. Knighton was the Executive Producer and President of 651 ARTS, an arts presenter with a mission to develop, produce and present arts and cultural programming grounded in the African Diaspora. Her previous positions include National Alliances Program Manager of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Managing Director of Penumbra Theatre Company. She has served as a grant reviewer and a post-grant evaluator for several grant makers, and has consulted with numerous arts organizations on management and marketing issues.