The Regional Arts and Culture Council has hired Marine Corps veteran Madison Cario as its new executive director, the organization announced on Tuesday, November 13. The appointment marks the end of a nationwide search, which drew applications from more than 200 candidates.
Most recently, Cario served as the inaugural director of the Office of the Arts at the Georgia Institute of Technology. They have previously held senior-level positions at various nonprofits, and also worked as an advisor to the National Dance Project and the New England Foundation for the Arts.
As the Portland metro area's top arts administrator, Cario will oversee over $44 million in grant spending and take the helm on giving campaigns which, since 2007, have generated more than $8.5 million for local arts organizations. RACC is estimated to serve 1.8 million residents in the Portland tri-county region. The council had been without a permanent executive director since July 2017, when Eloise Damrosch stepped down after 13 years in the role.
Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly was among those who expressed her support for Cario, saying in a statement, “I look forward to working closely with Madison to preserve affordable arts spaces, advance equity in grant making, strengthen public funding and expand access to the arts—particularly for artists and audiences with disabilities.”
Cario will start the full-time position on January 14, 2019. Jeff Hawthorne, RACC’s director of community engagement, will continue serving as interim executive director until then.