New Executive Director of ArtsWA


TO:  Members of the WESTAF Board of Trustees
        WESTAF-Region State Arts Agency Executive Directors
FR:   Anthony Radich, Executive Director, WESTAF
RE:   Appointment of a New Executive Director at Washington’s State Arts Agency
DT:   January 9, 2014
I know that many (but not all) of you have received word of the appointment of a new executive director at Arts WA, Washington’s state arts agency.  For your information I have pasted in the formal announcement below.
New appointee Karen Hanan is well known to WESTAF and has been supportive of this organization for many years.  We have always found Karen to be a creative and hardworking professional.  She has taken Arts Northwest—initially a modest-sized organization—and greatly expanded and updated its services during her time as director.
I want to recognize Kris Tucker’s work in conducting a successful search.  As is her way, Kris planned and conducted a thoughtful and very well organized search.  I had the pleasure of addressing the search committee about trends and realities in the field, and that was pretty fun!   
Karan Hanan’s appointment still leaves Hawai’i and Oregon in some stage of a search process for a new executive director.  I am hopeful they will be as successful as Washington in identifying an excellent candidate!
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We are very pleased to announce that Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Karen Hanan as Executive Director of ArtsWA, effective March 1, 2014.
Karen is a long-time colleague of Arts WA. Since 2000, she has served as Executive Director of Arts Northwest, the non-profit, regional performing arts service organization that provides a communications network among presenters of performing arts events throughout the Northwestern US and Canada. In her tenure at Arts Northwest, Karen has overseen the doubling of the organization’s membership and budget. Previously, she was the founder and Executive Director of the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts (1992-2000). She holds a BA from Leeds Polytechnic in England, and speaks Spanish, French and some German.
“I am so pleased to accept this appointment and to take up the challenge of leading ArtsWA,” Karen said today. “I look forward to partnering with the Governor, his staff, the commissioners and the dedicated team at ArtsWA to usher in the next phase of artistic growth, ambition and arts vision for Washington State and its residents.”
In August 2013, ArtsWA Executive Director Kris Tucker announced her plans to step down in early 2014. The search process was guided by the ArtsWA board in consultation with the Governor’s office. The national search drew more than 40 applications.
Karen will attend our February 4 Board meeting in Olympia, and will participate fully in Arts & Heritage Day on February 5.  Kris Tucker will remain at ArtsWA on a part-time basis through February, and will participate in Karen’s orientation.
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New Executive Director of ArtsWA