Wyoming Arts Council

Wyoming Arts Council Announces New Executive Director

After conducting a national search, the Wyoming Arts Council has named Rachel Clifton as Executive Director; her appointment is scheduled to begin July 18, 2023. 

“Rachel is a wonderful choice to serve as the next Executive Director of the Wyoming Arts Council. She has a strong knowledge of the state’s artists and organizations, and has been deeply engaged with the development of the current Arts Council strategic plan. I have been fortunate to work with Rachel in multiple capacities while at the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Arts Council, and have got to see her grow and develop as a leader, organizer, and advocate over the past 15 years. Her detail oriented leadership and desire to see artists and communities thrive will be an asset to Wyoming. I congratulate the Arts Council board on this appointment and look forward to working with Rachel and the amazing staff in my new role” says outgoing Executive Director, Michael Lange. Lange is departing the Arts Council after 11 years and will continue his work in the arts as the Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Laramie County Community College. 

Clifton has been with the Wyoming Arts Council since 2015 and is currently the Assistant Director, with job duties including administering the state’s Art in Public Buildings program, overseeing special programs, and managing the agency’s federal grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Previously she was the Assistant Curator at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. She has held jobs and internships with several prestigious museums, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Clifton attended the University of Wyoming where she received a BA in Humanities and Fine Arts, and earned an MA in Art History with a concentration in Museum Studies from the University of Denver. In 2022 Clifton successfully completed the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy through National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania.

“I look forward to continuing the initiatives and building on the foundations that Mike has built during his tenure with the Arts Council,” says Clifton. “The arts are growing and thriving in Wyoming and I am excited to step into this leadership role and work alongside our wonderful staff and board.”

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