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Meet our Region’s Newest Arts Leaders

In its first few months 2019 has seen big leadership changes at several of our local arts and cultural institutions. Get to know some of our region’s newest and incoming arts leaders below!

Catherine Nueva España assumed the role of Executive Director of Velocity Dance Center on February 19. A seasoned, Seattle-based non-profits leader with a passion for dance performance and production, Nueva España said the following about stepping into the role in an announcement from Velocity:

“For over twenty years, Velocity has served as the heart and soul of the contemporary dance community in Seattle. I am honored and excited to steward that vision and to continue to foster a space for all movers, dancers, and art-lovers to learn, play, work, develop, and present. I also hope to continue collaborating with the many arts and cultural organizations in the area who have been integral to our growth. Working together, we can continue to foster and amplify the work of our artists, engage meaningfully with our diverse audiences, and promote a culture of equity, solidarity, and creativity.”

Christina Scheppelmann will become Seattle Opera’s fourth General Director in the company’s 56-year history, and the first woman to lead the organization. She will begin in August 2019. In Seattle Opera’s announcement, Scheppelmann remarked:

“Seattle Opera has already established itself as one of the great American opera companies, and it can grow even further . . . .It has a fantastic history, from more recent work, to historic Wagner productions . . . .Seattle Opera also has a world-class opera house with great acoustics, and now, a civic home which will add fantastic value to the community.”

Thomas Dausgaard is the incoming music director for Seattle Symphony, joining Krishna Thiagarajan who became President & CEO last fall. Dausgaard, who has been the Symphony’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2014, recently announced the Symphony’s 2019-2020 season. When asked in a Seattle Symphony profile what to expect from his first season as music director, Dausgaard said:

“This season is an invitation into my world, into some of the music which changed my life — music close to my heart and which has played a continuous role in my musical life. I find it very inspiring to think that we as an orchestra are a source of life and vitality for the community, offering spiritual experiences which inspire on many levels, with each program expressing something about who we are and where we are going together.”

We look forward to what these leaders and so many other new voices have in store for the seasons ahead! Visit ArtsFund’s Cultural Partners page to keep up with our 120+ partner organization.

P.S. To meet ArtsFund’s Interim CEO, Sandy McDade, check out our recent profile of him. We look forward to welcoming ArtsFund’s new leader later this year!

Photo: Seattle Symphony, Tuning Up Festival. Photo by Brandon Patoc.