Seattle International Film Festival Appoints New Executive Director
Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) has selected Sarah Wilke as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began a two-month transition into the role in late October.
Most recently, Ms. Wilke held the position of Managing Director at On the Boards, a contemporary performing arts organization based in Seattle. Throughout her 12-year tenure, she was responsible for the organization’s day-to-day operations and long-term strategic management. The organization received numerous awards, including a 2015 Fractured Atlas Arts Innovation Award for OntheBoards.tv, a 2013 William Dawson Award from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters for Programmatic Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming, a 2011 Mayor’s Arts Award, and a 2006 Stranger Genius Award for Outstanding Arts Organization.
Prior to joining On the Boards, Ms. Wilke was Managing Director at Consolidated Works: A Contemporary Arts Center in Seattle, Associate Curator at Tacoma Art Museum, and Public Information Specialist and Curatorial Assistant at Arthur M. Sackler Gallery/Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Bowdoin College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, as well as a certificate degree in arts administration from New York University and a masters of education degree from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. Ms. Wilke was also a Fulbright Scholar, researching new perspectives on the use of public art in Sri Lanka to create dialogue within communities and influence public opinion.
In making the announcement, SIFF Board President Brian LaMacchia said, “On behalf of the entire SIFF Board of Directors, we couldn’t be more pleased that Sarah has agreed to leave a job she loves in order to join SIFF as its new Executive Director. This is an exciting time for our organization; SIFF is experiencing consistent upward growth and we are about to conclude another record year. The board looks forward to supporting Sarah as she continues SIFF’s mission to bring the best of the world of cinema to Puget Sound and beyond. “
“I have been incredibly lucky in my life that I have been able to be in places that I love working, in areas that are engaging intellectually to me,” said Ms. Wilke. “I have cherished my years at On the Boards, and now I am very excited to get to join SIFF, a strong organization I have enjoyed as an audience member since moving to Seattle in 2001. I look forward to furthering SIFF’s role within the film community in Seattle and beyond.”
“Congratulations to SIFF on the appointment of Sarah Wilke as Executive Director,” said ACG Vice President Rebekah Lambert. “Sarah’s unique artistic and cultural background makes her the ideal leader to advance the organization. Her dedication to and knowledge of the Seattle arts and culture industry will play an instrumental role in SIFF’s future success, both locally and within the film industry at-large.”