Cascadia Art Museum hires new executive director

Melissa Chittenden

The Board of Directors of Cascadia Art Museum has appointed Melissa Chittenden as the organization’s new executive director.

She replaces Leigh Ann Gilmer, who left the museum to take another job.

Born and raised in the Seattle area, Chittenden comes to Cascadia Art Museum with over two decades of administrative and educational leadership at University Child Development School in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. She has also worked as an international leadership and educational consultant, specializing in building and growing organizations.

She not only managed day to day operations of the $13 million non-profit, her work also encompassed marketing, strategic planning, budgeting, curriculum development, board collaborations, capital campaigns and managing multiple construction projects. Many educators and staff team members regarded her as a creative leader and mentor. Chittenden earned a master’s degree in non-profit business administration from Seattle University.

“We are excited that Melissa is joining the Cascadia team. She brings a wealth of experience to the museum,” said President Lindsey Echelbarger. “The board is looking forward to her leadership in this important period as we reopen after a year’s closure.”

Cascadia Art Museum and the other neighboring businesses in the Salish Crossing development are once again open to the community. Chittenden said she is “eager and ready to help Cascadia Art Museum continue their forward momentum,” making sure their unique exhibitions of Northwest art and design reach even more people in the region.

Cascadia Art Museum is located and 190 Sunset Ave. S. in Edmonds and is open Thursday through Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

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