OtB announces Betsey Brock as Executive Director Jun 23, 2017

Betsey Brock, Executive Director at On the Boards

Betsey Brock. Photo: Chase Jarvis


We are happy to announce that Betsey Brock has been appointed Executive Director of On the Boards. Brock will work to galvanize board, staff, and community support leading into On the Boards’ 40th Anniversary Year. She will continue to lead On the Boards fundraising, marketing, communication, and community-building efforts. 

Betsey has a long history of engagement with Seattle’s arts and culture community, especially in adventurous contemporary arts and culture. Most recently, as On the Boards Director of External Affairs, Brock has regularly exceeded the organization’s goals for fundraising events, and shaped communications, marketing, and fundraising for On the Boards. Alongside her co-leader and colleague, Jessica Schroeder, On the Boards Director of Finance and Operations, Brock has steered the organization through a season of challenge and change. After 12 years, Managing Director Sarah Wilke became SIFF’s Executive Director in November 2016; and Lane Czaplinski, OtB’s Artistic Director of 15 years, joined the team at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus Ohio last May. Brock and Schroeder are looking forward to adding a third to their leadership team with the hire of a new Artistic Director next fall. (The public phase of that search launches next week!) As part of this transition, Beth Raas-Bergquist, who has served as On the Boards Director of Institutional Giving, has been promoted to the role of Director of Development.

“This is an exciting time for On the Boards as we launch our 40th anniversary and add new artistic leadership. Having Betsey at the helm will make sure we don’t miss a beat during that transition,” said On the Boards Board President, Ruth Keating Lockwood, “She has earned the trust of her colleagues and the community, and her work ethic and knowledge of the field are unparalleled. I’m excited to work alongside Betsey and Jessica as OtB steps into the next 40 years.” 

Matthew Richter, OtB Subscriber, alumni OtB artist, and Cultural Space Liaison for the Office of Arts and Culture, Seattle said, “I love it when organizations use times of transition to really stretch themselves, to explore opportunity and embrace change. On the Boards has always, through each of its many transitions, grown stronger, grown more adventurous, grown more strategic and more thoughtful. Creating an executive director seat, and filling that seat with the incomparable Betsey Brock, is the smartest thing they’ve done in a decade. Betsey has been a leader in the arts community since the moment she landed in town. When I say that Betsey is a leader, I mean that literally. WE ALL FOLLOW HER. She charts a course and we are happy to row the boat. We are lucky to have her, and I can’t wait to see where she takes On the Boards next.”

Before joining On the Boards in 2013, Betsey served as Director of External Affairs for Reel Grrls, a media arts and leadership program for girls ages 9-19; and at the Henry Art Gallery in various leadership roles supporting audience engagement, public relations, communications, and marketing. She is a veteran of the Northwest Film Forum Board of Directors, and serves on the Advisory Boards for Teen Tix and Velocity Dance Center. 

“I’ve known Betsey for almost 15 years,” said Huong Vu, Community Investor, Arts, Culture and Civic for The Boeing Company, “And I’ve known On the Boards for 25 years as a funder, donor, a member of their staff, and an active part of their audience. On the Boards has great vision and contributes to the field locally, nationally, and internationally. To take their next steps they need strong and visible leadership. Betsey is wonderfully qualified to provide that. She knows the arts world from many angles, is well-versed in the field, and she has great support throughout our local and national community. On the Boards is lucky to land her and I look forward to the next steps for the organization.”

“I came to work at On the Boards three and half years ago,” remarked Betsey, “but I’ve sat in its audience since 1997. It’s almost shocking to me that OtB is 40, and I’ve been seeing shows here for half its life. From the first time I came to a show at On the Boards, I knew that it was where I could find my people. I’ve seen art I’ve loved and art I’ve hated. I’ve known for about 20 years that On the Boards was there for me—to break my brain, confound my expectations, delight, provoke, and show me things I couldn’t see anywhere else. I’m committed to the hard work ahead. On the Boards has much room for improvement as we strive to use our arts platform for equity and justice. Our staff and board has begun this work, and I’m committed to its continuation and growth. We can be more accountable, and increase the ways we share resources and opportunities. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back to an organization that has pushed me creatively, intellectually, and professionally.”