Obit: Dusso, James A. (1950 - 2008)
Contact: Audrey Roedl
----Source: Loyal TRG 24 September 2008
Dusso, James A. (25 AUG 1950 - 16 SEP 2008)
James Allen "Jim" Dusso, 58, who spent his life loving and promoting artists and all the arts, died of brain cancer on Tuesday morning, Sept. 16, 2008. His memorial service was held at 3 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 22, in the Musser Cortile, Landmark Center, St. Paul, Minn.
James Allen Dusso was born in Greenville, on Aug. 25. 1950. He most recently served as the interim director of the Minnesota State Art Board. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and was an early graduate of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, Graduate School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1974, he was awarded a research fellowship to the Center for the Arts Administration. He then moved to the Twin Cities in 1976 to take on an internship in the arts at the Guthrie Theatre and decided to make the Twin Cities his home.
At various times, he managed the Minnesota Foundation for Better Hearing and Speech, Consortium Books, Consulted with numerous arts organizations, and instructed at St. Mary’s College of Minnesota. He was best known for his 16 years at COMPAS, the statewide organization, building the arts and artists throughout the state. From 1997 to June 2007, he served as managing director and interim executive director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, annually granting funds of 12 million to the arts. He also worked as a founder, board member, panelist or volunteer for many arts organizations locally and nationally including the National Endowment for the Arts.
He was best known as a friend and mentor to young talent—interns, arts administrations and emerging artists, and am excellent advocate for community arts participation and attendance in every corner of Minnesota. Friends and family will remember him as a cheese-headed Packer-backer, unyielding Badger fan, "Boat Papa," cat trainer, intense listener, unabashed performance-goer, "arts walker," wonderful operational thinker, and a gentle shaper of difficult tasks and evolutions who always kept in mind that nothing was more important than the relationships with and between people.
He retained his dry sense of humor to the end, facing every difficulty and this as well, with his typical "No problem."
Survivors include his wife, Beverly, his brother, William (Donna), Madison; his son, Jeff (Anne), San Jose, Calif.; his daughter, Kathy (Bill), Chicago, Ill.; and five grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Lorris and Alice.
In lieu of memorials, please celebrate Jim’s life through a gift to your favorite arts organization, center, school, or community arts event.
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