At the Corcoran, we focus on combining creativity, empathy and innovation to connect our creative practice to the greater good. Our leadership embodies these principles.


Lauren Onkey

Lauren Onkey is the new director of Columbian College's Corcoran School of the Arts and Design as of July, 2021. Dr. Onkey brings to the Corcoran two decades of hands-on experience in the arts and cultural studies, paired with considerable scholarly achievement in her field. She most recently has served as the Senior Director at NPR Music, where she led a team of journalists, critics, videographers, and podcast makers and provided the editorial vision in creating innovative cross-platform music journalism. With her innovative vision and commitment to exploring opportunities for creative and cultural partnerships, Dr. Onkey will be a tremendous asset to the Corcoran’s students and faculty.

More About Dr. Onkey


Kym Rice

Mary Coughlin is the Deputy Director, Corcoran; Associate Professor and Head of Museum Studies Online Certificate. Professor Coughlin has an interest in the conservation challenges of contemporary museum collections, particularly with respect to plastic. Before coming to GW full time, she worked for five years in the Objects Conservation Laboratory of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where she conserved objects as diverse as FDR’s leg braces and Star War’s C-3PO and R2-D2.

More about Director Coughlin



photo of corcoran council

The Corcoran Strategic Advisory Council is the director's advisory body for the Corcoran. Comprised of distinguished national and international alumni, those from the philanthropic sector, and acclaimed artists and designers, the Council works to address issues impacting the growth and development of the Corcoran.

They help to promote the mission of GW and the Corcoran through their work on the Council. Members serve on a volunteer basis, typically for three­-year terms.

Learn More





Kevin Patton

Kevin Patton

Director of Graduate Studies, Interaction Design



Siobhan Rigg

Siobhan Rigg

Program Head, Design
Associate Professor, New Media, Studio Arts



Alec Wild

Alec Wild

Program Head, Classical Acting







Sidney Stevens NEXT 2021
Image credit: "The Way We Move,” by Natalie Adam, Exhibition Design (M.A. ’22)

Updates from the Corcoran

What a year it has been!

For the first time in two years, the Corcoran hosted its annual NEXT end-of-year showcase in person in the spring of 2022. NEXT, which features graduating students’ projects in dance, digital media, photography, sculpture and other mediums, featured more than 70 physical exhibits, 30 performances and presentations, and dozens of virtual showcases by undergraduate and graduate students across the school. DCist reviewed the exhibition; you can still visit our virtual show.

The branding of this year's exhibit was a testament to the level of dedication our students have to their craft. Vibrant and sophisticated banners, designed by two juniors majoring in graphic design, Amanda Bohn and Alexandra Tan, beamed against the white marble of the Corcoran. Read about the brand’s celebration of nostalgia and messiness.

Corcoran also hosted “Framing Fatherhood” in the summer of 2022, curated by Dr. Imani M. Cheers of the School of Media and Public Affairs. The show centers holistic representations of Black masculinity and spotlights artists’ visions of their own peers and communities. See photos here, and watch NBC, CBS and WUSA9 coverage.

Lastly, students, faculty and alumni brought creativity and change-making to their work over the past year.

Congratulations, Corcoran community! We look forward to celebrating more of your accomplishments this year.



2022-2023 William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement

Aruna D’Souza, the 2022-2023 William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement, writes about modern and contemporary art, intersectional feminisms and how museums shape our views. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts, was named one of the best art books of 2018 by the New York Times. More