Peter Donnelly

Michael Newton Award
1995

Peter F. Donnelly is president and CEO of ArtsFund (formerly Corporate Council for the Arts), a funding agency that benefits arts organizations in Washington's King and Pierce Counties — a post he assumed in 1989. During the past decade, the organization has been recognized as an integral part of the arts in the region and is known for its integrity and innovation by its hundreds of corporate, foundation, and individual contributors, as well as by its more than 65 beneficiary arts groups. During that time, the fund has more than doubled its annual distributions and has raised $6 million in endowments. In addition, the work of the agency led Seattle's philanthropic Bullitt family to donate one-third of Classic KING-FM 98.1 to ArtsFund in an innovative arrangement through which ArtsFund makes grants from after-tax station profits. The Seattle-based Kreielsheimer Foundation donated a $2.6 million building to serve as ArtsFund's headquarters and to provide lease revenue to fund grants. The first floor of the building is now home to Classic KING-FM 98.1. Prior to heading ArtsFund, Donnelly was producing director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre where his tenure spanned 21 years. He is a vice chair of Americans for the Arts and immediate past president of Classic KING-FM 98.1. In 2001, Seattle City Librarian Deborah L. Jacobs announced that six Seattle-area families contributed to Seattle's new Central Library and naming one of five major collection areas The Peter F. Donnelly Art and Literature Collection, in recognition of Donnelly's decades of arts advocacy.