Robb Hankins

Michael Newton Award
1998

Robb Hankins has spent the last 25 years directing city, county, and state arts agencies across America in eight states: Wausau, WI; El Paso, TX; Concord, NH; Parkersburg, WV; Battle Creek, MI; Hartford, CT; and Long Beach, CA. He has built or retooled four united arts fund drives, created major community arts festivals, overseen public art programs, and redesigned arts education initiatives. He has acted as a consultant to arts commissions and arts councils around the nation in cultural planning, marketing, and fundraising. Currently he is cultural services director for Eugene, OR, and director of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts there. In 1998, Hankins was executive director of the Greater Hartford Arts Council in Hartford, CT. He turned around an agency that, before his arrival in 1994, had struggled to support itself. In his three years there, Hankins increased annual contributions to the United Arts Campaign by 33 percent and established almost 40 new workplace giving programs for the arts. Among his other accomplishments, Hankins opened an arts and entertainment district in downtown Hartford and hosted more than 30 "First Thursday" celebrations for more than 250,000 people. He recently finished "Culture 2000"— the new arts and entertainment plan for the city, which has been adopted by the Millennium Project. Hankins sits on the United Arts Funds Council, a national advisory board of Americans for the Arts that informs the direction of the field through policymaking, research and information, and visibility for the work of the nation's 72 united arts funds, which raise an aggregate $83 million annually.