Adam Erickson Is New Executive Director of Art School

Peninsula School of Art (PenArt) in Fish Creek has selected Adam Erickson as its new executive director, following a national search led by Ford Webb Associates. He’ll begin his tenure May 1. 

Most recently, Erickson served as adviser to the president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and he directed partnerships including the college’s corporate, foundation and government relations.

From 2016 to 2020, Erickson was a member of the leadership team of ArtPlace America: a 10-year, $150 million collaboration among foundations, federal agencies and financial institutions that worked to position arts and culture as a core sector of equitable community planning and development. 

Prior to ArtPlace, Erickson managed the Aspen Institute Arts Program, which sought to accelerate arts-driven social change, service and innovation. He’s also a founding member of Vital Little Plans, an artist collective and giving circle; he’s lectured widely; and he’s taught in the Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Program at the New School in New York City. 

“I am thrilled to join the remarkable board and staff of PenArt,” Erickson said. “Much of my career has focused on bringing people together to make positive connections because it’s my strong belief that creative cultural initiatives, like those PenArt is known for, are among the most powerful tools we have in fostering social cohesion, bridging divides and aligning around shared values. We need these connections now more than ever.” 

Steve Sauter, chair of PenArt’s board, said, “We are elated to welcome Adam as our new executive director. He will bring enthusiasm, great communication skills and a new outlook. Our organization has blossomed into a nationally acclaimed arts center under the leadership of past executive director Cathy Hoke, and we look forward to continuing the success with Erickson at the helm.”

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