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Arlington Arts Center names next Executive Director

We are happy to share that the Board of Directors of the Arlington Arts Center (AAC) has announced the selection of Catherine Anchin as its next Executive Director following a national executive search led by Carlyn Madden and Kessa Thompson of Good Insight. She begins her new role in early May 2021.

“We are delighted to welcome Catherine to AAC,” said Marlene Harrison, President of AAC’s Board of Directors. “With a background in contemporary visual arts, extensive experience in arts administration and fundraising, and roots in Arlington, our Board of Directors is confident that Catherine has the unique skills and experiences to take AAC to new heights. As we prepare for new leadership, I would like to extend my appreciation to my board colleagues on the search committee for their commitment to this process. I am also grateful to Blair Murphy, AAC’s Curator of Exhibitions, who has served as Interim Executive Director since October of 2020.”

“I am honored to join AAC at this pivotal time in the organization’s history and very much look forward to highlighting the transformative power of the arts and creativity in our community and beyond,” said Catherine.

Ms. Anchin’s appointment concludes a four-month search led by Good Insight, a Washington, DC-based executive search firm that serves the nonprofit sector. Carrie Schum, Vice President of the Board of Directors, chaired a search committee comprised of representatives of AAC’s board, staff, and resident artists.

Ms. Anchin will lead AAC as it navigates the unprecedented challenges faced by arts organizations emerging from COVID-related shutdowns. Despite these challenges, AAC has reached audiences through innovative virtual and in-person programs, including the online exhibition By Proxy and Passage, a site-specific installation by artist Lynda Andrews-Barry presented on AAC’s lawn. AAC’s galleries are currently open to the public. Spring exhibitions Stretched and Ryan McCoy: From an Abyss are on view and will be accompanied by a series of virtual artist talks. Online and in-person youth summer camps will take place this summer and with Ms. Anchin in place, AAC will begin planning for a return to more in-person programs as soon as it is safe to do so.

About Catherine Anchin

Catherine Anchin joins the Arlington Art Center from Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, where she led advancement and external affairs. In this role, she managed fundraising, communications, and marketing strategies to expand museum’s global audiences, increase its visibility, and grow its revenue and base of supporters.

Catherine brings extensive experience in arts fundraising and administration, as well as a commitment to contemporary visual arts. Her career has included tenures at major national and regional museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Ohio.

She holds an MA in Museum Studies and a BA in Art History from Syracuse University, as well as a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University.

An Arlington, Virginia resident since 2007, she and her family currently live in the Westover neighborhood.

About Arlington Arts Center

Since 1974, the Arlington Arts Center (AAC) has served as a premiere destination for contemporary visual arts for the Washington metropolitan area. AAC’s mission is to enrich community life by connecting the public with contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, educational programs, and artist residencies. AAC is located at 3550 Wilson Boulevard. As of March 2021, galleries are open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 5 PM and by appointment. Visit for more information.

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