Biography

Cecelia Hobbs Gardner has enjoyed a multifaceted career integrating her work as a professional violinist with more recent roles as an attorney, arts administrator, union activist and mediator.

Highlights of her performing background include solo and chamber music concerts at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, Wolf Trap, Aspen Music Festival and the Royal College of Music in London. As a freelance musician in New York City, she has played in many classical and ballet orchestras, Broadway shows and on television, movie soundtracks, commercial recording projects and international tours with industry legends.

Ms. Gardner is a writer and featured speaker on topics that support her perspective gleaned from time spent inside the entertainment industry. She is considered a force of energy and engagement and her non-traditional career path reflects her commitment to exploring her multiple passions. In all of her endeavors, she combines the mind and spirit of a musician — creative, focused and dedicated to the quest for excellence — with her gift for inspiring and motivating people to action.

Ms. Gardner received a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School and Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance from The Juilliard School. She has additional certifications in Nonprofit Executive Leadership, Intellectual Property Law and Mediation. Along with her decades-long performance career as a violinist, she has worked as a nonprofit arts administrator and attorney in the Chamber Music, Jazz Studies and Legal Affairs departments at The Juilliard School and served as Development Projects Coordinator at the State Theatre Regional Arts Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where she provided pro bono services including corporate and foundation research, grant writing and administration, and fundraising support.

She has served as a mediator in Small Claims Courts in Essex and Bergen Counties in NJ and has mediated cases for MediateArt at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) in New York City and at the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID) on Staten Island, NY. She has also worked as a mediation coach at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Her private mediation practice focuses exclusively on Arts Mediation.

Most recently, Ms. Gardner has been advocating on behalf of members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802 — the musicians’ union in New York City — fighting for increased accountability and transparency from the leaders at both the AFM Pension Fund and the administration at Local 802.

She is an active performer and President of Guiding Arts LLC, an arts consulting and arts mediation practice.