Board Spotlight: Hilary Cherner

A woman poses with her black dog at on snowy mountain close to the peak.

Arts Corps is happy to introduce the newest member of our board, Hilary Cherner!

Hilary is a silo-buster, dot-connecter and philanthropy geek. She has spent the past 15 years shepherding philanthropic consulting firm, Arabella Advisors, from start-up to leader in the social sector. Hilary has a passion for effective giving and, in particular, deploying equitable practices, advocacy, and cross-sector partnerships to achieve greater good. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of Colorado and an MA in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit and public management from Indiana University. Hilary lives in West Seattle with her husband and rescue pup. When she is not working, you can find Hilary trying out new recipes in the kitchen, enjoying live music and adventuring around the PNW.

Hilary joined us late spring and has spent the past few months learning all things Arts Corps, so we wanted everyone to learn a little more about her as well. 

What made you decide to become a board member at Arts Corps?

I am inspired by the work AC does and, in particular, the ways in which it prioritizes equity across the organization. When I moved to West Seattle a couple of years ago, I wanted to find a local organization to get involved with to build a stronger connection with the community. When I first heard about AC (thanks Stone!) I immediately knew it was an organization I wanted to be involved with.

What is something you are looking forward to in your new role?

I am still getting to know the organization – the people, the programs and the impact. I really enjoyed attending Art & Sol and am looking forward to getting to participate in more in-person and virtual events and classes.

Was arts education critical to your development as a young person?

It was! I can’t say I have a lot of talent artistically but early exposure to the arts – in particular music, dance and drama provided me with an important outlet for escape, imagination & community…and they still do today!

What opportunities and challenges do you see ahead for those of us who care deeply about art, young people, and community?

Oof…the challenges are many. In a world of competing priorities, arts can often get short changed. This is why it is so important to have organizations like Arts Corps partnering with schools and communities to ensure programming is accessible for all. On the opportunity side, I think that one silver lining of the pandemic is the way in which the country saw arts in a new light. The arts gained a level or respect and recognition I haven’t seen in the past. I am hopeful we can ride that wave into the future.

Has there been an artist or piece of art which has had a positive impact in your life?

Live music has fueled my soul ever since my first concert in kindergarten (Thriller tour). Too many bands/musicians to name and so many genres included. I continue to explore and love to find new music to both carry me away and help make sense of life. I welcome your recommendations!

We’re excited to have you on board, Hilary!

— GRECIA LEAL PARDO, Development & Communications Coordinator