The Vera Project is excited to welcome Ashraf Hasham as our new Executive Director!
“I’m overjoyed to be passing the baton to Ashraf,” says outgoing VERA ED, Tim Lennon, “His experience and reputation in the local arts and culture scenes, his leadership style, and his long history with The Vera Project and youth engagement in Seattle’s cultural life in general make him the perfect person to lead the organization into it’s most exciting era yet.”
Ashraf is a Seattle native who’s been coming to VERA shows since he was a teenager. He comes to VERA from Urban Gateways, Chicago’s largest arts education provider, where he was Program Manager for Advocacy & Engagement. Prior to that, he was Director of Partnerships & Programs at Seattle’s TeenTix. He previously served on the Seattle Arts Commission and was recently voted in as a member of Americans for the Arts’ (AFTA) Arts Education Advisory Council.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to build on the work of Tim and the other outgoing staff & board members,” Ashraf says. “Among so many other things, I’m grateful to be entrusted to heighten VERA’s visibility, create meaningful mutually-beneficial partnerships, continue to serve our growing community with integrity & open ears, and extend VERA’s presence in the learning, activism, and funding communities.”
The annual Viva Vera gala, held on March 10 at Washington Hall, will be one of the first projects that Ashraf will oversee. The organization sees the leadership transition as an opportunity for major areas of growth, including program partnerships, re-engaging donors, and new sources of earned income.
“Vera is coming into a new era of leadership and leverage in the community,” says Amy Piñon, VERA Board President. “Ashraf specifically brings the needed community connections–both local and national–his activist lens, and deep roots in Seattle’s unique arts landscape to position VERA for major growth.”