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Melissa Hines, director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ funding programs and leader of the office’s arts education initiative passed away Friday, April 8th, from leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. She was 63.
Melissa’s impact on Seattle’s arts community was significant and she will be sorely missed.
I invite you to share your remembrances of Melissa by visiting the City’s arts office website.
Previous to working for the City’s arts office, Melissa dedicated 23 years to The Empty Space Theatre where she began work in the box office. She went on to guide the company, known for its bold and provocative productions, through 16 seasons as managing director. From 2002 to 2004, she served as director of development for the Seattle International Children’s Festival, now Giant Magnet.
Melissa served two three-year terms on the King County Arts Commission from 1996 through 2001 and stayed a seventh year in 2002 to help guide the transition of the Arts Commission to 4Culture, a public development authority. She served 10 consecutive years guiding the county’s arts and culture agency—the last chair of the county’s Arts Commission and the first chair of 4Culture’s board.
She also served on the boards of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Development Officers Association, Allied Arts and the Washington State Arts Alliance. She helped found and served on the steering committee for the Communities of Color Fund Raising Training Project (1990-1994). Her work in the arts was recognized with Theatre Puget Sound’s 2002 Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award; the Business Volunteers for the Arts’ 2000 Arts Administrator of the Year Award; the Association of Women in Communications’ 1998 Northwest Woman of Achievement Award; and the Corporate Council for the Arts’ 1994 Unsung Hero Award.
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