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 Information: Sarah Sidman | 206-788-3051 | sarahsidman@artsfund.org
ArtsFund, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Communications

For Immediate Release
November 28, 2018


Seattle, WA – ArtsFund President & CEO Mari Horita announced today that she will be leaving her position to lead the community engagement and philanthropic strategy of NHL Seattle as part of the foundation of the new organization. Horita has had a tremendous impact on ArtsFund for over 20 years, including the last seven while serving as its President and CEO. She will remain with ArtsFund through mid-January 2019 and will continue to advocate for the organization and the current campaign.

ArtsFund Board Chair Anthony R. Miles stated, “Mari led the charge to broaden ArtsFund’s mission and establish a bold and inclusive vision for the role of the arts in this region. Her tenure was marked by increased outreach and collaboration with others in the business community and arts sector, connections that provide fertile ground for ArtsFund’s future development. We offer heartfelt appreciation for Mari’s many contributions. We will surely benefit from her legacy and miss her leadership and passion as we pursue ArtsFund’s continued evolution. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

As President & CEO, Horita’s leadership facilitated ArtsFund’s evolution into a more inclusive, outward facing organization, doubling the number of arts partners served and forging new relationships in the public, philanthropic, and civic communities. During her tenure, she significantly diversified the Board’s membership and leadership; established equity and inclusion as a central value shaping programming, grantmaking, and partnerships; and refocused the organization’s mission and vision on community and access. In addition to overseeing seven successful campaigns during which she appreciably expanded the organization’s donor base, Horita led ArtsFund to launch and fund new initiatives such as the crowdfunding platform, power2give, which generated over $1M for arts projects; to step up as an inaugural supporter of important community partnerships such as the Creative Equity Fund; and to produce important resources such as an Economic Impact Study in 2015 as well as ArtsFund’s first Social Impact of the Arts Study in 2018. The ArtsFund Foundation’s corpus nearly doubled during her tenure, and she has positioned the organization well for a strong financial future.

Horita first came to ArtsFund as part of its volunteer program in the late 1990s and went on to serve on the Board as one of its top fundraisers from 2002-2005. With both a J.D. and master’s degree in nonprofit management she taught classes on legal responsibilities of nonprofit Board members as well as organizational protocol for ArtsFund’s Board Leadership Training program. A lawyer by training, prior to her ArtsFund leadership tenure, she practiced law at Bogle & Gates, and later Dorsey & Whitney, and K&L Gates.  Horita has served on a number of nonprofit boards including ArtsFund, United Way of King County, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Asian Bar Association of Washington, Washington Appleseed, Bertschi School, Densho, and YouthCare. She currently serves on the boards of Cultural Access Washington, the Downtown Seattle Association, and the University of Washington Alumni Association. In 2017 she was honored as a Seattle Reign FC Legend.

Sandy D. McDade, ArtsFund Trustee and former chair, added, “Mari has led ArtsFund through a winning combination of enthusiasm, hard work, and a deep commitment to the arts. In addition to providing important financial support, under Mari’s leadership ArtsFund has grown as an effective champion of arts in our region. An example is ArtsFund’s ground-breaking work to understand the social as well as economic impact of arts in our community. This growing role positions ArtsFund well for the future.”

The Executive Committee for the Board of Trustees is working to appoint an interim CEO prior to Horita’s departure and will establish a search committee to identify and engage a successor.

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ArtsFund’s Mission: ArtsFund strengthens the community by supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grant making.

ArtsFund’s Vision: A community with a dynamic and world-class arts and cultural sector where the arts are accessible to all and valued as central and critical to a healthy society.