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Working Assumptions Arts Foundation hires Susan Krane as Executive Director
Krane is an experienced non-profit administrator with deep interest in the intersection of the arts and social issues. Photo: Anne M. Sconberg.

BERKELEY, CA.- Working Assumptions Foundation announces the appointment of Susan Krane as Executive Director. Krane begins in her new capacity November 2017 and joins the Foundation as its first Executive Director at a pivotal stage in the organization’s growth. Working Assumptions both produces and supports arts programs that explore the working assumptions of our everyday lives, to encourage change and connection.

Krane is an experienced non-profit administrator with deep interest in the intersection of the arts and social issues. Her leadership expertise is in innovative curatorial practices and in public programming that stimulates critical inquiry; cross-disciplinary approaches to the arts; and catalytic community partnerships. Krane writes and speaks frequently about contemporary visual arts and is an experienced curator.

Krane comes to Working Assumptions from a long career in the museum field and over 20 years in executive directorships. Her demonstrated commitment to civic dialog, project support for artists, and creative educational programs closely parallels the Foundation’s mission. Krane will be responsible for providing leadership, vision, and management for its ongoing programs and will oversee the conception and launch of new grant programs and international initiatives to support artists and change-makers. She will work closely with co-founders Jane Gottesman, a former journalist, and Geoffrey Biddle, a professional photographer and educator, to shape the future of the organization and to further its impact.

“Working Assumptions’ ability to serve will blossom under Susan’s seasoned leadership,” said Jane Gottesman, founder of Working Assumptions. “Susan’s ability to extend the reach of art and culture is so needed in this time when the search for meaning is of such critical importance. We are thrilled that she will be in a position to bring her years of arts leadership to Working Assumptions’ growing constituencies of artists, educators, students, and new audiences.”

“I’m honored to join Working Assumptions at this exciting time, at the very moment it previews its most recent project, Showing (work x family). The energy, intellectual breadth, and heartfelt sense of purpose behind the Foundation’s ventures are inspiring—and rare. Working Assumptions believes in addressing important social issues in ways that encourage us to question accepted norms and that foster awareness of fundamental, human connections. I am eager to contribute to the entrepreneurial spirit and creative pulse of the organization.”

Krane was Executive Director of the San Jose Museum of Art from 2008-2017; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ from 2001-2008; and the University of Colorado Art Museum, Boulder from 1996-2001. She was previously Curator at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and a Rockefeller Fellow at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Krane received her B.A. from Carleton College, Northfield, MN; her M.A. from Columbia University, New York; and her M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. She has organized over 60 exhibitions, authored numerous publications, and led several organizations through periods of strategic transformation, enhanced community engagement, and financial stabilization. Among the issues she has addressed through thematic projects are civil rights, immigration, adaptive re-use, food and community, and mindfulness. She is vice-chair of the board for the School of Architecture at Taliesin, in Scottsdale, AZ and Spring Green, WI.

Working Assumption’s new exhibition, Showing (work x family), reveals the intimate choreography—the push and pull of work and family—in our everyday lives. This 28-foot, six-screen installation features an original soundscape and 186 photographs by 135 photographers. It is previewing at the Mazmanian Gallery at Framingham State University, MA, from November 7 – December 15, 2017, and is the focal point of a university-wide, multi-disciplinary “teach-in” with more than 60 classes on the theme of family diversity and change. The 30-minute experience tells the story of daily life from the early morning hours until late into the night through images sequenced by a proprietary, controlled-randomization algorithm and presented on a translucent tensile structure designed by Viemeister Industries, New York. The soundscape was created by musician, performer, and poet Alicia Jo Rabins. The exhibition was co-curated by Geoffrey Biddle and Trudy Wilner Stack. Working Assumptions’ other projects include Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?, a Random House book and exhibition that premiered at the Smithsonian Institution and toured nationally for six years.

A related, ongoing high-school photography program, wrkxfmly, is available to schools across the country, accompanied by robust curriculum materials.

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