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Announcing New Executive Director

Thursday, August 14, 2014

CHICAGO—The Board of Directors of Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC), a 40-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to build a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives, is proud to announce that Caroline Older will begin as the new Executive Director on September 8, 2014.

Older joins CAC with more than 20 years of non-profit experience in the arts and cultural sector, most recently serving as Managing Director of Development at the Chicago Humanities Festival. Prior to that, Older also served as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids.

Building upon her previous experience, Older will oversee all aspects of CAC, including strategic planning, program direction, fund development, staff management and community relations. Sara Slawnik, who has been serving as the Interim Executive Director since February 2014, will resume her role as CAC’s Deputy Director.

“Throughout my academic and professional career I have held a deep appreciation for artists,” said Older.  “I am inspired by CAC’s commitment to building a diverse community of artistic leaders through advocacy, professional development and visionary programs. I look forward to connecting with artists of all disciplines while working with CAC’s exceptional staff, board and funders to fulfill the organization’s mission.”

Older received her BA in art history from Williams College in 1992 and a PhD in American art from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006. She has worked at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids and the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Led by CAC Board Member Nancy Herring, a search committee comprised of Board Members Katharine Schutta, Carmelita Tiu and CAC’s Board Chair Tony Karman retained Older after an intensive national search.

“We are delighted that Older is joining CAC. She reflects the rich talent pool here in Chicago, and has a superb record of leadership and service,” said Herring. “CAC is certain to continue to grow and develop new and unique programs to serve Chicago artists through her directorship.”

“CAC is playing a critical role in shaping Chicago’s cultural community by building a creative marketplace through its arts programming, artist residencies, grants and overall service to the arts,’’ said Karman. “Under Older’s leadership, I am confident that CAC will continue to innovate and produce new initiatives that will further the organization’s mission.”

About Chicago Artists Coalition

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Chicago Artists Coalition strives to build a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives. As pioneers in advocacy and professional development, CAC capitalizes on the intersection of art and enterprise by activating collaborative partnerships and developing innovative resources. CAC is committed to cultivating groundbreaking exhibitions and educational opportunities, and to building a diverse community of artistic leaders, that defines the place of art and artists in our culture and economy.

Founded in 1974 by a group of artists who sought to create a better environment and future for the local arts community, CAC has historically played an important role in regional arts advocacy, including being an instrumental part of the formation of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; the “Percent for Art Bill;” Arts Alliance Illinois; and the annual “Chicago Artists Month” city-based initiative. Currently, CAC’s diverse projects and programming include the Chicago Artists Resource (CAR) website, A.B.C-Art.Business.Create professional development, the BOLT and HATCH Projects residencies, Chartwell Collectors Circle and EDITION Chicago.