The Culture Works Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Hanson as Executive Director, effective immediately. Hanson succeeds Martine Meredith Collier, who left the organization late last year to serve as Executive Director of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County in Tampa, Florida.
Hanson brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and community engagement to the role. An entrepreneur, educator, performer, and seasoned nonprofit executive, she served most recently as the Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio.
Hanson’s appointment comes as the result of an extensive nationwide search. “Culture Works is a community organization, so we were very intentional about involving the community in this process,” said Steve Petitjean, Chair of the Culture Works Board of Trustees. “Before starting the interviews, we met with key stakeholders and arts partners to get a good understanding of the type of leader they envisioned taking our arts community to the next level. When our search committee met with Lisa, we saw immediately that she has the right mix of fundraising experience, creativity, collaborative nature, and a deep knowledge of our arts community.”
A native of South Florida, Hanson has lived in Dayton for 22 years and has served as a nonprofit executive for nearly a decade. During her tenure at the Epilepsy Foundation, she managed programs and services reaching over 11 counties, introduced an innovative art therapy program, Studio E, to the Dayton Region, and directed one of the region’s largest and top-rated fundraising events, Mud Volleyball, which draws over 5,000 attendees each year. As a public speaker, she was most recently invited to speak at a national conference on growing community engagement through successful fundraising events. She is also an award-winning, classically trained vocalist who has performed in Carnegie Hall and internationally. In Dayton, she can be seen on stage performing with the Dayton Opera Chorus and as a professional soloist.
“Throughout my years in Dayton, I have witnessed the evolution of our city’s unique arts landscape,” said Hanson. “This is thanks to the commitment of organizations and passionate individuals unifying to preserve and nurture all that defines this collective culture. I am truly honored to join such a dedicated team of individuals to share in promoting Dayton’s creative culture–preserving its legacy and investing in its future. Together, we are the seed planters.”
Hanson received her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Miami, School of Music in Miami, Florida. The focus of her graduate work was vocal performance and pedagogy at Northeast Louisiana University.
Over the next few weeks, Hanson will meet with members of the cultural community to discuss current initiatives. Next month, Culture Works will bring together a group of local arts representatives to make legislative visits as part of Arts Day, an annual advocacy event in Columbus. “Lisa is an excellent organizer and advocate,” Petitjean added. “She’s going to be a powerful voice for the Dayton Region’s arts and culture, and we’re excited to be a part of putting her ideas into action.”
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