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Art Access announces new Executive Director Shandra Benito

shandra-edit-112926“We are fortunate to have found the right leader at the right time,” says Art Access board chair Virginia Gowski about the hiring of their new Executive Director, Shandra Benito. “She passionately and genuinely believes in the mission of our organization and has a proven track record of working within various communities to provide programs for those who need them the most.”

Benito is a social worker, disability rights advocate, trumpet player, and arts enthusiast from Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Masters of Social Work Program and has worked alongside and served many different communities including individuals with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, immigrants, refugees, and native and indigenous people.

Most recently, Benito worked as the head of fundraising at the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services, while also serving on the City of Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities, and the Legal Voice Violence Against Women Task Force. She is proud to identify as a person with a disability, as a member of the Deaf community, and is thrilled to be able to bring her experiences working toward equality and equal access, non-profit development and fundraising to Art Access and Salt Lake City.

“I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to join this new community, and to continue and grow the incredible work and impact of Art Access,” said Benito. “I have been so impressed by the commitment of Art Access’ staff, board and community members. It was clear to me the first time I walked through Art Access’ doors that this is a special place, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of this work and movement,” she added.

Benito will be joining Art Access on January 1, 2017.

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