Artist Trust, the Washington State artist support organization based on Capitol Hill, has just announced the resignation of their Executive Director, Fidelma McGinn. Fidelma will be assuming the post of Vice-President of Philanthropic Services at Seattle Foundation and the search for a new Executive Director will begin soon.
Artist Trust is located at 1835 12th, just a block up from Cal Anderson Park, in a condo that they were wise enough to purchase several years ago. Their mission is to support and encourage individual artists in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. To accomplish its mission, Artist Trust raises funds from an array of sources in order to give financial grants to individual artists working in the visual, performing, media, literary, and interdisciplinary arts and serve as a professional information resource for artists and encourage artists to support each other.
Fidelma will miss everyone in the organziation, but is looking forward to her new position with Seattle Foundation. “The six years I have spent at the helm of Artist Trust provided me with some of the most fulfilling experiences of my career,” she said. “The mission of the organization is near and dear to me, and I will remain engaged as a supporter and member. I have the utmost confidence in the capabilities of the board and staff to continue Artist Trust’s legacy as a creative catalyst for artists throughout Washington State.”
I’ve served on the Board of Directors at Artist Trust and was fortunate enough to work with Fidelma the past four years. She brought a distinct energy and vision to the organization and she accomplished much in her six years as Executive Director, by sheer force of personality.
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.
McGinn 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.
McGinn 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.
Go maire sibh bhur saol nua, my friend!