Karen Mittelman Appointed Arts Council Director
Karen S. Mittelman, Ph.D, has accepted the position of executive director. Mittelman is currently director of the Division of Public Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in Washington, D.C. She brings to the Arts Council more than thirty years of experience in the public sector and the federal cultural arena. In addition to the NEH, Mittelman held a senior position at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and served as curator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
“I’m honored and excited to join the Vermont Arts Council in its vital mission,” said Mittelman. “This is a challenging time for artists and cultural organizations, and it is also a time when the arts are essential to the life and strength of our communities. I look forward to working with my new colleagues and with our partners across the state to learn about, build on, and enhance Vermont’s deep commitment to the arts.”
Prior to selecting Mittelman, the Council conducted a comprehensive national search resulting in 70 applications, including many qualified candidates from Vermont and across the country. “We are thrilled that Karen Mittelman has accepted the executive director position,” said Bob Stannard, Arts Council chair. “In a time when federal arts funding is uncertain, it is vital to have an executive director who has significant experience in a national leadership role. Karen brings to this position the knowledge, expertise, and passion required to continue to advance arts and creativity in our state.”
Mittelman also has close ties to Vermont, having spent time in Bennington County throughout her life. “Since childhood, I’ve spent significant stretches of time kayaking on the Battenkill, skiing, walking, and exploring museums and historic sites,” said Mittelman. “Vermont is a place that I love and feel deeply connected to.”
Mittelman received a bachelor’s degree in American civilization and a doctorate in U.S. history from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught at the University of Pennsylvania and American University, and is a published author.