Former Youngstown director Randy Engstrom to lead city arts office

Just in from the city – Randy Engstrom, former director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, will become interim director of the city Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Read on for the city’s news release:

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced Randy Engstrom as the interim director of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Engstrom is the Founder and President of Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community based consulting services business, and is known for his work as the Founding Director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. He will begin as acting director on October 3.

“Randy is deeply committed to serving the arts community in Seattle,” McGinn said. “I look forward to him joining our city team.”

“Randy Engstrom impressed me with both his knowledge of the Seattle arts and culture landscape and his thoughtful demeanor from the first day we met almost four years ago,” said Jon Rosen, chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. “As the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs director he will strengthen its relationship with the Arts Commission. The respect he enjoys in the arts community, his high octane energy and his cultural chops make him an excellent choice to move the Office into a new and exciting phase. I look forward to working with him.”

“I am extremely humbled and honored to have this opportunity. I look forward to an exciting year of building off of the work of an engaged and talented staff, a deeply connected Arts Commission, and a committed and supportive arts community in order to best leverage the important work of the office. I am grateful to the Mayor for giving me this opportunity.” said Engstrom.

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is working on a number of projects at the moment. The Mayor has proposed that the Office take over the administration of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center from the Parks Department in his 2013-2014 budget, which expands the Office’s scope and impact. The Mayor’s proposed budget also includes funds to continue the partnership with Seattle Public Schools in the area of arts education. Additionally major infrastructure projects such as Seattle Waterfront mean major commissions for the public art team, and continued support of local arts and cultural organizations through the investment of over $2.2 million in Cultural Partnerships program.

Engstrom has deep experience and success working in the Seattle arts community. He has over a decade of grassroots arts and culture experience beyond consulting, having founded Static Factory Media, a multi-media artist development company, and acted as the Founding Director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. He has also served as a chair to the Seattle Arts Commission, and is currently a board member of One Reel and board President at Washington Bus Education Fund.

A number of accolades support his past work – City Arts Magazine named him “The Advocate” in December of last year, he was an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader in 2009 and was also named to Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 under 40” in 2009.

Engstrom holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington Evans School and a BA in Public Administration from Evergreen Community College.

Engstrom’s salary will be $105,000.

2 Replies to "Former Youngstown director Randy Engstrom to lead city arts office"

  • Pete September 27, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    Congrats to Randy. If his work at YCAC is any indication this city department is in great hands,

  • Harpie September 28, 2012 (7:06 am)

    Witnessed Randy’s dedication to art and community first hand on many occasions in the past decade, and I’m glad to see him stepping into even bigger roles.

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