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Board of Directors

Karen Hanan Headshot
1st Vice Chair

Executive Director

Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA)

Karen Hanan

Karen Hanan is a senior executive with 20+ years of success providing leadership and managerial direction to state and regional arts service and presenting organizations. She was appointed executive director of ArtsWA by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2014. As the agency’s head, Hanan’s role is to grow the organization’s capacity, services and potential for positively impacting the arts field, arts in education and the state. Previously, Hanan was executive director of Arts Northwest, the regional service organization for performing arts organizations, arts presenters, artists, agents and associated organizations. During her tenure there, Hanan was the driving force in repositioning the nonprofit for growth, artistic vitality, profitability and a commitment to mission. She achieved this through effective planning, vision, partnership building and operational savvy. She oversaw the doubling of the organization’s membership and its budget. Prior to her tenure with Arts Northwest, Hanan was the founder and executive director of the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. She is a well-respected member of a number of industry organizations and sits on several boards of directors. She enjoys opportunities to be a speaker, panelist or event participant where the focus is an arts-related topic or the creative economy. (Board term: 2020-2025)