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August 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Seattle Arts & Cultural Affairs director resigns

Vincent Kitch is leaving his job as the city of Seattle’s director of the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. (The Seattle Times)

Mayor Mike McGinn announced the resignation of the city’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs director, Vincent Kitch, this afternoon.

The mayor’s office did not say why Kitch had resigned but did say Michele Scoleri, a senior advisor to McGinn, will take over the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs as a short-term director.

“I thank Vincent for his service and the contribution he has made to arts in Seattle over the last year and a half,” said McGinn in a statement.

Kitch had led the office since the spring of 2011 after a months-long search to replace Michael Killoren,  who left in the fall of 2010. Kitch had previously worked as an arts and culture director for the city of Austin, Texas.

Andy Fife, executive director of arts business management group Shunpike,  said he hopes it doesn’t take too long to find a permanent replacement. And he said he hopes the next director is a local candidate.

“It’s unfortunate that after that long of a search it didn’t stick,” Fife said.  “It’s a time of change within the Seattle arts community and I’m hoping for someone who can embrace that change.”

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs has a 2012 budget of $7.4 million, according to the mayor’s office.

Grants given by the office this year include an award of $175,960 to 34 youth programs offering after-school arts training for Seattle’s middle and high school students. The programs include a robotic arts workshop at South Shore K-8; a photography program for immigrant teens through Photographic Center NW; and traditional West African and Brazilian dance classes offered to Madrona K-8 middle-school students by Spectrum Dance Theater.

Comments | More in Arts & Entertainment, General news | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Vincent Kitch

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