McGinn Announces Move to Seattle Foundation

Artist Trust Executive Director Fidelma McGinn announced today her resignation to assume the position of Vice President of Philanthropic Services at The Seattle Foundation. She will remain at Artist Trust through mid-January 2012 to support its search for a new executive director. Under McGinn’s leadership, Artist Trust deepened its relationships with arts supporters and engaged new funders. She maintained a balanced annual budget of more than $1 million over six successive years, leaving the organization in a strong financial position despite industry-wide effects of the recession.

During McGinn’s tenure at Artist Trust, with support from community members and foundations such as the Washington Women’s Foundation, the amount of grant monies awarded to artists through the Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) and Fellowship programs increased, and two new awards were added. In 2009, through a bequest from artist Su Job and in partnership with 4Culture, the Conductive Garboil Grant was created. In 2010, Artist Trust introduced the Arts Innovator Award, supported by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation.

She also led an expansion of professional development services for artists of all disciplines, offered through the Artist Trust Creative Career Center with funding provided by Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. In 2009, Artist Trust was honored with the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award.

She championed the case for artists to be recognized for their vital role in the community through collaborative initiatives such as the Washington Artist Health Insurance Program (WAHIP). She introduced programs for underserved artists, including the Native Creative Development Program in collaboration with the Longhouse Cultural Center and forged new partnerships to develop artist residency programs in Port Townsend, on Camano Island, in the Methow Valley, and in Ireland.

In addition to her role at Artist Trust, McGinn has been a strong advocate for artists as a board member of the Washington State Arts Alliance and as a commissioner on the Seattle Arts Commission.