Lots of people help float our boat – we are especially grateful for these folks
It’s that time of year again when 4Culture recognizes and acknowledges the good work of the many volunteers who support the work we do, especially those who commit their time and expertise every month to serve in an advisory capacity, the members of our Board of Directors and the four Advisory Committees.
Terms of service end with the calendar year, and this year we have five volunteer members of the 4Culture Board of Directors who will depart on December 31st. Board members serve up to two three-year terms and one thing we hear every year is how quickly six years pass.
These five individuals helped steer 4Culture through some challenging times, and leave the agency in a stronger position than it has ever been. They helped steer the course through securing reliable funding sources, a huge achievement for 4Culture and the cultural community we support. Each has had an immense impact on the cultural community of King County. We are deeply indebted to them for their service during a time when our future was uncertain.
Kevin Carl has been the 4Culture Board President for the past two years. He runs a tight meeting, rarely exceeding the 90-miinute time allotted. Kevin is a real estate developer, architect and urban planner. Among his signature projects are the National Museum of the American Indian, Sleeping Lady Retreat and Conference Center, and the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, for which he served as the architectural designer and project manager. For all six years of his service on the board, he was the liaison to the Public Art Advisory Committee. Among his previous volunteer experience, Kevin was Vice Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission and Chair of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Committee.
Bill Finkbeiner has the distinction of being 4Culture’s longest serving board member having filled a partial term in 2008 and two full terms from 2009-2014. As a former state legislator, his experience and connections were extremely helpful during the long legislative effort to secure future lodging tax funding for cultural programs in King County. He is a property manager and small business owner who served in the House and Senate from the 45th legislative district. Bill serves on the board of Hopelink Multi-service Center and is a past board member of Forterra, the former Cascade Land Conservancy.
Patricia Cosgrove is the Director of the White River Valley Museum and the historic Mary Olson Farm in Auburn, a position she has held since 1990. Prior to her employment at WRVM, Patricia managed the state centennial exhibit celebrating and honoring Washington’s native heritage, A Time of Gathering. Patricia served as the board representative to the Heritage Advisory Committee and was a fierce advocate on the board for heritage and preservation. In her time on the board, she successfully advocated for more equity in the 4Culture funding programs to level the playing field among arts, heritage and preservation.
Ted Kutscher is a lawyer, financial planner and artist, who lives in a historic house on Vashon Island. With a background in financial management, Ted was the Board Treasurer for the past two years. Ted is an oil and watercolor painter in the realist and impressionist style, and was most recently represented by the Silverwood Gallery on Vashon. He also serves on the board of Gage Academy, for which he donates his artwork to the Gage annual gala.
Jennifer Meisner joined the board when she was the Executive Director of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, having previously worked with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods as a Community Development Specialist. She is an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Planning in the College of Built Environment at the University of Washington. Jennifer has served as board representative to the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee for the last six years No one was better-versed in current preservation issues than Jennifer, and no one was more collaborative and just plain delightful to work with. Thanks in part to Jennifer’s participation on the Cross Cultural Committee in 2012, 4Culture launched two new funding programs for preservation in King County: Special Projects and Sustained Support. Jennifer will be sorely missed!
Each program area is advised by a group of professionals with expertise in their given field. These volunteers meet regularly to review and consult on programming, provide design review in the case of Public Art, and lend support to staff. All serve with steadfast and cheerful devotion and help make 4Culture’s programming vital and responsive to the community. Our grateful thanks to these seven individuals, several of whom have had additional duties as Board Liaisons.
Eduardo Mendonca will complete his second term on the Arts Advisory Committee this December 2014 after six dedicated years of service. Eduardo managed to balance a very successful career as a performing artist and founder/director of Show Brazil!, a touring Brazilian music and dance ensemble, with his regular attendance and participation on the advisory committee. Eduardo is also highly in demand as a teaching artist in Washington schools and an organizer of community events and festivals. He brought a distinctive voice to the committee of a practicing artist and musician, a Brazilian immigrant, and passionate advocate for arts education.
Karen Bouton has served on the Heritage Advisory Committee since 2009, coming onboard while still heading the effort to restore the historic Saar Pioneer Cemetery in Kent. Karen embodies the spirit of volunteerism that pervades the heritage community, not only dedicating countless hours to Saar, but also by serving on the Greater Kent Historical Society and Neely Mansion Association boards. Her dedication to promoting heritage causes, and her willingness to get her hands dirty in the process, will be missed on the committee.
Betsy Davis, former Executive Director at the Center for Wooden Boats, served two years on the Heritage Advisory Committee before her term ended early when she accepted a job in Jefferson County. She is now the Executive Director for Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock. Betsy brought a maritime heritage perspective to the committee, and a unique ability to synthesize many ideas into one overarching concept – a welcome talent to have in group discussions. Betsy’s leadership and conviviality will be missed.
Kathleen Brooker served on the HPAC for a full two terms. As Executive Director of Historic Seattle, she was always completely on top of preservation activity within greater Seattle. It was an added bonus that she led Historic Seattle’s active partnership with 4Culture on projects such as Washington Hall, Mukai Farm, Vets Restore, the Real Estate task force, and the Maritime Heritage Initiative. Kathleen leaves big shoes to fill!
Robert Hutchison is a practitioner, researcher, and educator whose interests and practice overlap the fields of architecture, art and photography. In addition to his practice at Robert Hutchison Architecture, he is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, where he teaches architectural design studios at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Robert’s quiet but insightful design critiques and his international point of view will be missed, as well as the powerful way his art and architecture practice has informed his work on the Public Art Advisory Committee.
Next month, we’ll welcome and introduce you to the five community leaders who will take the baton from Kevin, Bill, Patricia, Ted and Jennifer on the Board – and Eduardo, Karen, Betsy and Rob on their respective committees.