Michael Killoren

Local Arts Agencies & Challenge America Director

Michael Killoren serves as the director for Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America at the National Endowment for the Arts. He is responsible for the grantmaking processes for Local Arts Agencies (LAA's), developing partnerships to advance the LAA field as a whole, and the Challenge America program. 

Most recently, Killoren served as director of Seattle's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, a cabinet-level position, from 2002 through 2010, where he led the city department's funding and public art programs, developed policy initiatives to increase public access to arts and culture, and established a groundbreaking partnership to restore arts education in Seattle Public Schools.

Prior to July 2002, Killoren was Seattle's first director of cultural tourism for Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he launched an initiative to promote the region's cultural assets.  He also served as an arts program coordinator and later executive director of the King County Arts Commission, where he worked to increase access and participation in arts and culture, with a focus on rural and suburban communities.  He also served as managing director of the Alice B. Theatre, all three organizations based in Seattle. For three and a half years prior to moving to Seattle in 1993, Killoren was part of the programming staff at the Sheldon Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri.

Killoren has served as president and vice-president of the U.S. Urban Arts Federation of Americans for the Arts, and as a member of the Downtown Seattle Association Marketing Committee, among other community service positions. He has a BA in media arts from Webster University in St. Louis and completed graduate studies in telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington.