Marete Wester

Senior Director, Arts Policy and National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military

Team: Strategic Impact

Marete A. Wester, M.S. joined the staff of Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education in America, in April of 2006 after more than twenty five years as a nonprofit arts and arts education manager, consultant, educator and writer. As Senior Director of Arts Policy she is responsible for the development of cross-sector policy issues and related strategic alliances nationally and internationally. Among her primary current focus areas include arts and military/Veterans issues, international engagement through creativity, cultural and economic statecraft, as well as health, healthcare and the environment.
In 2006 and 2007 respectively, she developed and launched Americans for the Arts’ signature policy forums, the National Arts Policy Roundtable in partnership with the Sundance Institute, and the Aspen Seminar for Leadership in the Arts. She helped initiate and now co-chairs the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military—an effort that brings all branches of the U.S. military in collaboration with civilian agencies to advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for health for all active duty military, staff, family members, Veterans and their caregivers. From 2011 through 2013, she helped develop the Partners for New Beginnings—North Africa Partners for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO) Creative Industries and Cultural Economy Incubator, in collaboration with the State Department Economic Bureau, the Aspen Institute PNB-NAPEO Secretariat and the local NAPEO advisory board in Algeria, and Creative Leaps International. The NAPEO Creative Industries and Cultural Economy Incubator focused on economic development through the creative industries and in building international economic and cultural partnerships between the United States, Algeria, and the Maghreb region.
An experienced administrator of cross-sector collaborations and initiative development, she is responsible for initiating and managing major strategic alliance relationships at Americans for the Arts, including formal Memorandums of Agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Administration, and collaborations with diverse national service organizations and public agencies including the American Legion Auxiliary, Corporation for National Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health/National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Office of Warrior Care Policy. Prior to Americans for the Arts, she spearheaded organization restructuring and development for two statewide arts service organizations and led major statewide public/private partnerships and initiatives as Executive Director of Dance New Jersey and the Alliance for Arts Education/New Jersey (AAE/NJ). An experienced fundraiser, she has raised more than $15 million in public and private grant funds during her career for these organizations and current programs.
She holds a bachelor's of music performance degree from Wilkes University, PA and a master's degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

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