Lisa Hanson, the new executive director of Culture Works

Culture Works new director a familiar face to Dayton

Culture Works officially has a new leader.

The Culture Works Board of Trustees on Tuesday announced the appointment of Lisa Hanson as executive director, effective immediately.

Hanson succeeds Martine Meredith Collier, who left the organization late last year to serve as executive director of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County in Tampa, Florida.

Hanson brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and community engagement to the role. An entrepreneur, educator, performer and seasoned nonprofit executive, she served most recently as the executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio, according to a news release

Hanson’s appointment to the nonprofit regional arts agency comes as the result of an extensive nationwide search.

“Culture Works is a community organization, so we were very intentional about involving the community in this process,” said Steve Petitjean, chair of the Culture Works Board of Trustees, in the release. “Before starting the interviews, we met with key stakeholders and arts partners to get a good understanding of the type of leader they envisioned taking our arts community to the next level. When our search committee met with Lisa, we saw immediately that she has the right mix of fundraising experience, creativity, collaborative nature, and a deep knowledge of our arts community.”


A native of South Florida, Hanson has lived in Dayton for 22 years and has served as a nonprofit executive for nearly a decade. During her tenure at the Epilepsy Foundation, she managed programs and services reaching over 11 counties, introduced an innovative art therapy program, Studio E, to the Dayton region, and directed one of the region’s largest and top-rated fundraising events, Mud Volleyball, which draws over 5,000 attendees each year.

She is also an award-winning, classically trained vocalist who has performed in Carnegie Hall and internationally. In Dayton, she can be seen on stage performing with the Dayton Opera Chorus and as a professional soloist.

“Throughout my years in Dayton, I have witnessed the evolution of our city’s unique arts landscape,” Hanson said in the news release. “This is thanks to the commitment of organizations and passionate individuals unifying to preserve and nurture all that defines this collective culture. I am truly honored to join such a dedicated team of individuals to share in promoting Dayton’s creative culture — preserving its legacy and investing in its future. Together, we are the seed planters.”

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