When we look back over all the challenges of the last year, we are so proud of the Kirkland Arts Center community.
Like all nonprofit organizations, especially those in arts and culture, we have been impacted in ways we could not have predicted just twelve months ago. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of people like you, funding institutions, returning students, and all those willing to take the leap and experience art through technology, we are continuing to innovate and bring the power of art to our community.
Our previous executive director departed in November 2020, and staff and board immediately worked together to create a functional, collaborative leadership structure to see us through the transition. Teams made up of staff and board members are working together to ensure KAC continues to unleash the power of art in four areas: fundraising, resource stewardship, equity and inclusion, and the search for our next executive director.
Board President Mary Lu Hawes is partnering with Holly Koelling, a board member who joined us in June of 2020, to share the work of executive directorship until a new executive director is instated. Mary Lu Hawes’ focus is primarily on fiduciary and governance matters, while Holly Koelling is managing operations and staff care. Holly brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role, most recently having served as Acting CEO for Leadership Eastside, guiding them through a major leadership transition and the early stages of the pandemic. Prior to her time at Leadership Eastside, she served as the Director of Strategy and Director of Library Operations for the King County Library System, and brings a depth of experience in public sector and nonprofit leadership across both executive staff and nonprofit board roles. She also holds a BFA in Studio Arts with an emphasis in large format oil painting and a BA in Art History, and is an active artist. Holly is well-qualified to lead in this transition, and has a strong commitment to the arts—and specifically to Kirkland Arts Center.
At the same time, an executive search team of KAC stakeholders and the community at large has been formed. We would greatly appreciate your taking this survey to share what is most important to you in KAC leadership. Our intention is for the role of executive director to be filled this spring.
The future is bright. We are exceptionally proud of the work being done at Kirkland Arts Center right now. An incredible team of people have come together to continue supporting artists and expanding arts access. Perhaps more than at any other time in our recent history, the power of art is essential in our lives and KAC remains both stable and able to connect people to art, and to each other through art.
Thank you for your generosity and commitment to KAC now and always.