The official blog of the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities
Judith Terra, Chair - Ward 4
Judith Terra is the chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and co-founder of both Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago and Musee D' Art Americain Givemy in France. Terra and her late husband, Ambassador Daniel J. Terra spent many years promoting American Art. When Terra Museum of American Art opened in April 1987, it was the first museum in the United States since the establishment of New York's Whitney Museum of American Art in 1930 devoted exclusively to American art.
Terra's interest in the visual and performing arts as well as her educational endeavors began early—she received her degree in language arts from the University of Florida. Professionally, she has combined her two passions: the arts and education—first, as a teacher; then as the wife of a college president (Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA) and as wife of the first and only Ambassador-at-large for Cultural Affairs in the United States.
Terra played a key role in the development of both American Art museums, including serving as co-director of Terra Museum in Chicago. The primary emphasis of both these institutions was their educational programs and facilities.
During the 1980's, while Ambassador, Terra served as Cultural Ambassador. In addition to their many responsibilities in Washington, the position took the Terras to countries throughout the world (including Israel) in order to promote American art and to establish cultural diplomacy.
Judith Terra continues as a community activist serving on many boards, in addition to her own board, Terra Foundation for the Arts. She has participated in and chaired many
charitable causes and organizations in both Chicago and Washington, DC.
In January 2010, Terra became one of the earliest supporters of Vincent Gray for Mayor. She was very active in planning meetings before Gray's official announcement and held the first fundraiser for Gray's successful campaign. She served on Mayor Gray's finance committee and continued to hold fundraisers for members of the arts community and Women for Gray—this in addition to many months of working with the volunteers.
Her board activities have included the following:
- Founding Chairman, Advisory Board of the Ronald Reagan Institute for Emergency Medicine, George Washington University (Washington, DC)
- College of Arts and Sciences, Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
- Northwestern University Women's Board (Chicago, Illinois)
- Endowment Foundation for the Diplomatic Rooms of the State Department (Washington, DC)
- Co-Founder, Friends of Arts and Embassies (State Department, Washington, DC)
- A founder of the Latin School (Washington, DC)
- University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
- The President's Council, Florida Southern College (Lakeland, Florida)
- The Lab School of Washington (Washington, DC's school for dyslexic and learning disabled)
- The National Kidney Foundation (Washington, DC)
- Meridian International Center (Washington, DC)
- Keshet Eilon
- The Middle East Media Research Institute
- Schneider's Children's Hospital (board member)
- Friend's of Israel Art Foundation (Chairman)
- Advisor/Consultant, Cultural Attache, Israel Embassy, Washington, DC
- America-Israel Friendship League (board member)
- Tel Aviv University American Council (member)
- Harold Hartog School of Government & Policy, Tel Aviv University (board member)
- DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities