Katie M. Moore Named Director of Community Engagement
KCAD has big plans for 2014, beginning with the hiring of Katie M. Moore as Director of Community Engagement, a new position within the College. Governor Snyder’s recent national honor for leadership in the arts, the $7.6 million in state funding for arts and culture allotted for 2014, and ArtServe Michigan’s Creative State Michigan 2014 report are among the signs that art and design are huge economic drivers in West Michigan. That makes KCAD’s ability to spark collaboration between the cultural, civic, and business communities an increasingly valuable asset to the region.
Katie M. Moore, Director of Community Engagement
With the College’s existing community partnerships growing steadily and more opportunities coming in each day, institutional leaders identified the need for a point person, a design-thinker capable of evaluating, organizing, and nurturing those relationships in way that creates a broad impact.
“Part of what we envision for ourselves as a College is a greater presence, a lead role in Grand Rapids and in West Michigan, and then larger than that,” said Dean of the College Vic Liptak. “We’re not thinking about our little footprint; we’re really thinking about our full potential for impact.”
As the point person for KCAD’s community partnerships, Moore comes to her new position with plenty of experience building connections from the ground up. In her previous job as Exhibitions Coordinator at Open Concept Gallery in Grand Rapids, Moore was expected to bring in innovative work from international, national, and local artists, coordinate lectures and educational programming, and collaborate with other institutions to develop dynamic exhibitions, all with a large degree of independence from her mentor, Executive Director Zora Carrier, who pushed her to work outside of her comfort zone.
“It forced me to really have to step up, because I didn’t have anyone to fall back on,” Moore said of the experience. “I’ve since been able to thrive under that dynamic. With this new position, it’s about understanding what’s already in place and figuring out how to take it further.”
Though Moore originally applied for an administrative position at KCAD, the drive and passion she showed in her interview made Liptak and others take notice. “She loved the challenge that Open Concept presented her and rose to it,” said Liptak. “We were all looking at each other thinking ‘this is an amazing person – is this the right job for her?’”
So it was decided that Moore, who’s also an alumnus of KCAD’s MFA Painting program and a current adjunct faculty member, possessed talents better suited for a position that would leverage her understanding of the College’s enormous potential for growth. “Since I’ve been here, KCAD has really been branching out, not just into the art community but all over,” she said. “Maximizing the impact of creativity in our region is very important. A big part of that is facilitating communication, and that’s what I love to do.”
Moore will also be responsible for developing a proposal for the creation of an on-campus center for community engagement that will provide KCAD with additional resources to support its community partnership efforts.
“I have a very strong sense that people will connect with Katie,” said Liptak. “She’s the kind of person where her initial contact with you makes it clear that she’s very interested in who you are and what you’re doing and she wants to hear your ideas. My hope is that the community at large recognizes that, and speaking with her confirms their confidence that KCAD is interested in what they have to say and will support the partnership if it’s a good fit for both parties.”
The new face of community engagement at KCAD can be reached at [email protected].