Monday, March 21, 2011

Division Administrator of Iowa Dept of Cultural Affairs

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Tiffany Cownie announced Matthew Harris has been named Division Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council.

“We are delighted to have Matthew joining us as the administrator for the Iowa Arts Council,” Cownie said. “His experience in the performing arts and his background in development will be significant assets to the department in promoting and nurturing the arts and history in Iowa.”

A Cedar Falls, Iowa, native, Harris earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Public Relations from the University of Northern Iowa and worked in advertising sales for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center before serving as Development Coordinator for the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines for the past six years.

“I am looking forward to working with the Iowa Arts Council staff and cultural organizations across the state,” Harris said. “I have spent my career telling the story of the economic and community impact of arts and culture, and this new opportunity will let me continue to do so, but on a statewide level.”

At the Civic Center, Harris worked to grow its $1.8 million annual fund through donor cultivation, membership promotion and grant writing while managing benefits fulfillment for the center’s title sponsorships, including the Willis Broadway Series, Prairie Meadows Temple Theater Series and the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Family Series.

As administrator, Harris said one of his immediate goals will be raising the profile of the Iowa Arts Council.

“With a challenging budgetary climate, we need to make the case for the importance of the Iowa Arts Council as both a resource and chief advocate for arts and culture in Iowa,” he said.

Harris is a graduate of the 2009-2010 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and remains active in the community through various board and volunteer commitments. Harris resides in Windsor Heights.

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