It is with a level of excitement and sadness that we write this goodbye letter to James Miles. We are very excited for James because we know that every move he makes allows others to see his shine. We are very sad for Arts Corps because that shine is no longer exclusively ours.
Arts Corps has been very fortunate to have had James’ leadership as Executive Director since 2017. He has led this growing organization from building and sustaining Seattle and Highline School district partnerships securing high quality arts education for youth in communities of color even during COVID. So you see, it was a mix of excitement and sadness when he announced his acceptance to join the team of Mentor Washington beginning on December 1, 2020.
James has brought a multitude of accomplishments as Arts Corps Executive Director. To try to capture them all is almost impossible but these are a few that we would like to thank him for:
- Arts Corps continues to reach over 2,800 youths in South Seattle to South King County.
- Increased technological arts learning through the development of Learning Immersive Technology (LIT) and Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute (ALLI).
- Since 2017, increased our revenue to over 2.5M up until the pandemic hit.
- Turned a well-planned usual live annual fundraiser, FESTA, to a Live Stream fundraiser produced in less than two weeks after a state shut down was announced, reaching new donors nationally and internationally.
- Arts Corps is on all social media platforms, including consistent communication to our communities through online arts learning experiences delivered by our stellar teaching artists, monthly blog posts, and relentless advocacy for equitable arts education.
- Led the creation of online, remote learning arts experiences for youth and community partners- check out the; led the development of art kits delivered to over 400 students.
- Created more connectivity with staff through weekly “on fleek” meets and elevating the “hipness” and “dopeness” into the office.
James has succeeded in making the Arts Corps tagline, “Make Art Anyway” into a challenge that has been widely accepted by staff, youth, the community, and the board, over and over again. We thank him for the energy, enthusiasm, and momentum that allows Arts Corps to thrive even during the most trying of times. James will truly be missed and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors. With James’ departure, Carrie Siahpush, Arts Corps current Development Director, will serve as the Interim Executive Director. Carrie’s experience and deep knowledge of Arts Corps culture, great relationship with staff and board members, partners, long term stakeholders and donors would secure a seamless transition.
Stay tuned everyone. Arts Corps is thriving and doing great things. We invite you to join us in our celebrations and watch as we continue to serve youth and our community. It goes without saying, but even through these hard times, we invite you to sing, dance, paint, draw, print, just Make… Art…Anyway.
In love and peace,
Arts Corps Board