Trust Management

Congratulations to friend and colleague Kimberly Howard, who today becomes the new manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Kimberly will certainly have her work cut out for her managing one of the country's most innovative public-private partnerships for supporting the arts. Visionary, yes, but the Trust has a complicated history rife with abandonment issues, it suffers from an identify crisis, and surely will be subjected to a variety of other growing pains in the next couple of years. The tax credit -- an essential mechanism for generating the contributions of the past -- is up for renewal in 2011, and there's that pesky little question about whether state legislators will ever return the $1.8 million they robbed from the trust earlier this spring. For the Trust to emerge as a serious game-changer in a dearth of statewide arts funding solutions, both of these issues will need to experience a successful conclusion.

That said, I have more confidence in Kimberly's abilities than many of her predecessors, who were either short-lived or ill-fitted for the task. First and foremost, she is of the local arts community and that's something that's been lacking of late. Kimberly is recognized as one of Oregon’s most promising young arts managers, and her work with Sojourn and the IFCC have helped provide both the arts experience and the business background that are called upon here. In fact, you can catch Kimberly on stage for several more weeks in the ART production of Distracted.

Kimberly a smart strategist, an articulate advocate and an all-around fun person -- and those three things can help you go a long way in this business. This has been a bumpy year for the Trust, and it's not going to turn around overnight, but let's see what Kimberly can do.


Mead said...

The Trust has a great new ally in Kimberly Howard -- together with the fab Cynthia Kirk, we've got some of the best arts advocates we could want at the Trust. Congratulations to both Kimberly and the Trust!

KH said...

Thank you for your warm wishes and encouraging thoughts. It's a big job, for sure. But one I certainly could not do without the collaborative support of artists, arts managers, arts organizations, cultural partners, county coalitions, tribal coalitions and everyone who's ever picked up a brush, made a stitch, walked the stage, put pen to page or worked hard to preserve our state's heritage, giving voice to our past so we can see forward to our future. I'm excited to work with you all.