The Bellevue Arts Museum Board of Trustees has appointed Karin Kidder as the museum’s executive director. Kidder has served as the museum’s interim executive director since November. Before taking on the interim executive director role, Kidder was the museum’s director of marketing and communications.
Her appointment comes as the Museum celebrates over 70 years of its nationally recognized the museum ARTSfair and numerous critically acclaimed exhibitions. It recently received two significant gifts from the Kemper Development Company—the first a $1M challenge match, and the second a $1 million donation for capital projects, which will be dedicated to exterior work on the building. Exterior work will begin in March and is anticipated to be complete by July in advance of the museum’s major fundraising gala, Artful Evening, on July 15 and the museum ARTSfair which will be held July 28 – 30.
“Karin brings tremendous experience and skill to this leadership role,” said Dr. Julie Miller, president of the board of trustees. “Her extensive background in the arts, strong business acumen, and intimate knowledge of [the museum] will help us deliver on our mission and vision.”
“[The museum] is an incredible institution that plays a vital role in the Pacific Northwest and the greater arts community” said Karin Kidder. “I am excited to lead the institution as we embark upon our 71st BAM ARTSfair. Forty-two years after its founding, [the museum] continues to be known for the quality of its exhibitions and for celebrating emerging and nationally recognized artists. We will continue to feature the same quality exhibitions that represent the best of art, craft, and design, while strengthening our partnerships within the community.”
When Kidder first moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1997 she worked with Foster/White Gallery in Seattle and became immersed in the Northwest arts community. Following her time at Foster/White she worked for artist Dale Chihuly, managing his gallery relationships worldwide. Subsequently she lived in London where she worked with London Business School’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship as the director of several of their programs.
Kidder has worked in international business development and marketing for more than 20 years. She has successfully led organizations with a significant focus on development and outreach, marketing strategy, and community relations. She earned her MBA with a marketing concentration from London Business School in 2008 and has a BA in Art History from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Kidder will assume the executive director position immediately.