Port Angeles Fine Arts Center welcomes new executive director

With more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership, Christine Loewe is the new executive director for the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

The organization in June announced the hiring of Loewe, who worked remotely as Director of Communications for the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County for the past 10 years while living in Port Angeles with her two children and husband.

Loewe has set to work to bring her expertise to help raise the visibility of the center and create new community connections, center representatives said.

“PAFAC has such incredible potential for bringing people together to create stronger connections, spark their creativity and collective ingenuity, and build new bridges of understanding across differences,” Loewe said in a press release. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to steward this organization forward as a welcoming and inclusive gathering space in partnership with two dynamic women as fellow staff members.”

Loewe’s background includes guiding international trips in multiple countries, running trail building crews with teens, and teaching outdoor education both locally and throughout the country.

Previously serving as the Teen Programs Director for the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, she engaged hundreds of local youth in outdoor adventure, community service, and leadership activities including initiating a summer service and cultural immersion trip to Capula, Mexico, for area teens.

“I look forward to infusing my outdoor education experience into this role and creating more opportunities for integrating the arts with a love of our natural surroundings,” Loewe said. “Webster’s Woods provide the perfect space for accessible integrated enrichment opportunities.”

As a 2019 nominee for Port Angeles Chamber community leader of the year, Loewe is also a dedicated local volunteer giving her time on local campaigns, the Lodging Tax Advisory Commission, as a school district volunteer supporting school gardens and SEL integration and she serves as the chair for the Olympic Peninsula YMCA Dennis Watson Memorial Fund.

“I am excited to share that our team has already set the wheels in motion for new arts enrichment opportunities, as PAFAC and the Port Angeles School District were recently awarded two arts in education grants by the Washington State Arts Commission,”Loewe said. “These grants will allow us to bring a benefit of more than $35,000 in arts integrated education into our school system next year. I look forward to helping this come together in partnership with our district next fall.”

Additionally, she volunteers with the local soccer community and “jumps in to support local events” whenever possible.

“I annually invest hundreds of hours, as I wholeheartedly believe that by supporting the inspired ideas and creativity of others, we make our community a more vibrant and connected place to live,” Loewe said. “Ultimately, place-making and community building have been recurring themes in my work and personal life and I am enthused to bring this spirit of collaboration into this role to support PAFAC in expanding its potential in these areas.”

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center exists to honor the legacy of Esther Webster by connecting people to the arts. Annually, the center engages more than 4,500 visitors through programs, workshops and exhibits and invites more than 30,000 individuals into Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park to enjoy open air exhibits along the rugged second growth forest trails.

Since the opening of the PAFAC more than 30 years ago, the gallery has hosted more than 150 exhibitions by more than 500 artists from the Northwest and around the world.

Learn more about the organization at pafac.org or by emailing to rachel@pafac.org.