The Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation has elected three new board officers — President Jennie de Mello e Souza, Vice President Morgan Smalley and Secretary Marnie Chinn. Tim Jones remains the foundation’s treasurer.
A 20-year resident of Edmonds, de Mello e Souza is a working artist and local art instructor who teaches visual arts at Redmond High School and art education at Western Washington University. As a teaching artist, she has been a recipient of several art instruction grants from the foundation and knows first-hand how these grants positively impact the community. In addition to serving as the board’s president, she will be working with artists and teachers through the foundation’s Art Instruction Grants program.
“More than ever, the arts help bring joy, focus and growth to students. My plan is to provide more opportunities for students in Edmonds, and to increase the presence of the arts in our community,” de Mello e Souza said.
Born, raised and currently residing in Edmonds, Smalley is a working artist and successful small business owner. Self-taught through trial, error and exploration, she is deeply passionate about the arts and her community. Smalley will assist the foundation board in evaluating and awarding grants from local nonprofit organizations for arts-related projects and programs.
“My greatest hope is to make art accessible to everyone and to share the joy and solace my practice brings to me with others,” Smalley said.
An 11-year resident of Edmonds, Chinn is a hobby artist who has decades of experience in nonprofit capacity building. Her passion is serving marginalized populations and building cultural bridges through the arts. She previously served on the STARS Foundation at Edmonds Elementary, which raises an annual $50,000-$70,000 in part to support arts education and experiences for schoolchildren and staff. In addition to her role as secretary, Chinn will assist with the Foundation’s Art Instruction Grants program.
“I find art to be one of the best ways to explore diverse cultures. Art breaks through language and cultural barriers, and in art we see the world through the eyes of another’s lived experience,” Chinn said. “I aim to support the foundation’s work in reaching out to diverse populations so that others may learn from their experiences.”
The Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation gives more than $80,000 annually for art scholarships, educational grants to schools, and community grants to area nonprofits. The foundation has also given more than $1 million for public art installations and special projects throughout Edmonds. All profits from the annual Edmonds Arts Festival in June (2022 dates are June 17-19) goes toward funding of the foundation’s programs. Learn more at the foundation’s website.
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