Bellevue Arts Museum recently announced the appointment of Benedict Heywood as executive director of the museum. Heywood will assume both curatorial and operational leadership, a shift in the museum’s organizational structure that will streamline operations and allow it to focus resources on its development team.
Heywood is the founder of the nonprofit art space, The Soap Factory in Minneapolis. He came to the Seattle area when he was recruited to lead Pivot Art + Culture for collector and philanthropist Paul Allen in Seattle.
“For me, since arriving in the Northwest two years ago, Bellevue Arts Museum has been one of the most consistently exciting arts venues in the region,” said Heywood. “I am honored to be invited to lead such a great institution.”
In addition to Heywood joining as executive director, Eileen Herbert, currently BAM’s curator of learning and public programming, will assume the role of director of advancement for the museum. This role will be responsible for building the development team and overseeing fundraising activities. Herbert has been with the museum for more than six years and brings significant experience building strong community relationships.
“These organizational changes will help the museum build upon our successes over the past year,” said Karin Kidder, outgoing executive director. “The museum is an essential part of a growing and dynamic downtown Bellevue and the work it does has tremendous impact both locally and nationally. I am very proud to have been a part of it for over three years.”
“We are grateful for the contributions Karin has made in putting the museum in a much better position, financially and artistically. Her leadership has provided us with a platform to move forward with a focus on artistic direction and community engagement,” said Dr. Julie Miller, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees.
In 2017, the museum celebrated its 71st annual BAM ARTSfair. The museum is also close to completing a $1 million renovation, due to a generous gift from Kemper Development Company. The renovation included the re-staining of the exterior of the building to its original vibrant red.
Heywood will assume the role of executive director on Sept. 18.