Mayor, City Council appoint new Seattle Arts Commissioners

The Office announces eight new members of the Seattle Arts Commission, five appointed by Mayor Greg Nickels and three appointed by the Seattle City Council. The members of the commission began their two-year terms in mid-January.

Nickels appointed Sandra D. Jackson-Dumont, Debra Guenther, Carol Munro, Stephanie Ellis-Smith and David Sabee. The City Council appointed Diana Falchuk, Eric Fredericksen and Jon Rosen.

"City leaders formed the Seattle Arts Commission in 1971 during one of our region's worst economic downturns, testament to the fact that arts and culture are essential to quality of life," Nickels said. "Creativity is one of the things that help Seattle lead in so many different areas. Our new and continuing commissioners bring diverse experience to help shape cultural policy in Seattle from arts education to cultural space to public art."

Jackson-Dumont is the Kayla Skinner deputy director of education and public programs and an adjunct curator at the Seattle Art Museum. Guenther is a landscape architect and principal at Mithun.

Munro is the executive director of Auction of Washington Wines. She is chair of the board of trustees of Cornish College of the Arts and was executive director of arts nonprofit PONCHO from 1992 to 2003. Ellis-Smith founded the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas in 1999 and serves as a trustee of KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio and Leadership Tomorrow. Sabee is a cellist and founder of Seattle Music, a film scoring and recording company. The mayor also reappointed Joaquin Herranz to a second two-year term. Herranz is a professor at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs.

Falchuk is a multi-disciplinary artist, arts program manager and art educator. She is a member of artist-run gallery Crawl Space. Fredericksen is a curator and the director of Western Bridge, a nonprofit contemporary art space. Rosen is an attorney in solo practice, and he serves on the board of Music of Remembrance.

The City Council also reappointed Randy Engstrom to a second two-year term. Engstrom is founding director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and co-chair of the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee, a citizen group charged with making recommendations to the City Council about affordable space for arts and culture. Engstrom will serve as commission vice chair in 2009.

The mayor appoints seven of the commissioners; the City Council appoints seven, and a 15th member is selected by those 14. An additional commissioner is selected through the YMCA's "Get Engaged" program. The Seattle Arts Commission's nominating committee recommended a slate of candidates for consideration by the mayor and City Council. For a list of all 16 commissioners, click here.

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