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Thursday, September 9, 2010

NEA Announces New Director of Local Arts Agencies & Challenge America Fast Track

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2010
CONTACT: Victoria Hutter, 202-682-5692, hutterv@arts.endow.gov


Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that Michael Killoren will join the NEA as the director of Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America Fast Track. Mr. Killoren will manage NEA’s grantmaking for these two programs as well as develop partnerships to advance the local arts agency field as a whole. He will begin his work on October 12, 2010.

Mr. Killoren comes to the NEA from Seattle, Washington where he served as director of the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Prior to July 2002 when he began his work with the mayor’s office, he was the director of cultural tourism for Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau; the arts program coordinator and later executive director of the King County Arts Commission; and managing director of the Alice B. Theatre, all three organizations based in Seattle. For three and a half years prior to coming to Seattle, he was part of the programming staff at the Sheldon Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri.

“I am delighted to welcome Michael Killoren to the National Endowment for the Arts. His experience developing and managing programs that integrate the arts into community life and his leadership in cultural tourism will be invaluable for the NEA. As we deepen our work supporting the role of the arts in placemaking, Michael’s knowledge will be key to our success,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Mr. Killoren said, “I am honored to join the NEA at this time. Under Chairman Landesman’s leadership, the NEA is developing historic new partnerships with other federal agencies to expand the role of arts and culture in community and economic development, education and other areas. Local arts agencies are on the front lines in developing innovative strategies to increase public access to arts and culture, and I look forward to strengthening the relationship between local arts agencies and the NEA in advancing this important work.”

As the director of the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, a cabinet-level position, Mr. Killoren had oversight of the office’s Public Art program and the Civic Partnership funding areas, which included funding for individual artists; for Youth Arts programs to support after-school arts training; for neighborhood and community arts programs; and to provide support to more than 140 organizations.

Mr. Killoren has served as president and vice-president of the U.S. Urban Arts Federation of Americans for the Arts, and as a member of the Downtown Seattle Association Marketing Committee, among other community service positions. He has a B.A. in Media Arts from Webster University in St. Louis and completed graduate studies in telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington.

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