Welcome, Betsey Brock!
February 18, 2022
Meet Betsey Brock, SAL’s new Development Director! You may already know Betsey from her longtime visionary work in the Seattle arts community, where she most recently served as the Executive Director of On the Boards.
Her leadership at On the Boards expanded the organization’s production of new performance, advanced racial equity initiatives, forged museum exhibition partnerships, and much more—and now, we’re so excited to work alongside her at SAL!
To help you get to know Betsey, we asked her about her background, her childhood reading loves, her hobbies, and more—read on.
Congratulations on your new role as Development Director! Can you talk about what your role means?
I work to build the resources for SAL to do all the incredible things that it does with words, WITS, and writers, readers, and audiences. And what that really means is that I love creating a community centered around ideas and building relationships with people who are moved by SAL’s mission. When I can connect with someone who loves SAL enough to contribute time, energy, and funds—well, of course, I want to talk with them and I want to understand what moved them to donate. Those are electrifying and inspiring conversations! Every day, I send lots of emails, I make oodles of phone calls, and write mountains of thank you notes.
What is one book you loved as a child?
My favorite book as a kid was Beverly Cleary’s Ellen Tebbets. I think I identified with Ellen’s independence, her daydreaming, and her clumsiness in and enthusiasm for her ballet class. I think Beverly Clearly’s books show how the greatest friendships work.
What did you do before you came to Seattle Arts & Lectures?
Most recently, I served as On the Boards’ Executive Director and on their Development team. Before that, I worked advancing feminism and media skills at Reel Grrls, and in various PR, marketing, and fundraising roles at the Henry Art Gallery. Further back, I worked at Nest Magazine, I sold books at Archivia Bookshop in New York and at Bailey/Coy Bookstore here in Seattle. Even further back, I was a puppeteer with the Bread and Puppet Theater, a performance artist, a lifeguard, and a camp counselor.
What’s on your desk?
It’s messy: four KF94 masks, some watercolor paper and pencils, a dog toy, and the following books: The Freezer Door by Matilda Bernstein Sycamore, Barkskins by Annie Proulx, Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell (spoiler, it’s about otters, and I adore otters), and an Italian cookbook—The Silver Spoon, a mail sorter made by the artist Dawn Cerny full of notes and cards, and a screen-printed bandana I received in the mail today from Alice Gosti’s performance company, Malacarne.
Where are you from?
I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee.
When you’re not working, where might we find you?
Seeing art, dance, and performance around town; swimming in Lake Washington, gardening, riding my bike, and spending time with my family in Vancouver, BC.