Anne Huang Named New World Arts West Executive Director

Anne Huang Named Executive Director World Arts West

(San Francisco, CA) – The Board of Directors of World Arts West—the producing organization for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and many world dance and music events throughout the year—has announced that Anne Huang will become the new Executive Director effective September 1. Julie Mushet, who has served as World Arts West’s Executive Director for 17 years, will leave as of August 31, 2019, having served as a stalwart champion for uplifting the work of local artists sustaining world dance and music from around the world. Anne Huang is a seasoned arts executive, and a highly regarded cultural arts leader in the San Francisco Bay Area and has served on the senior management team of World Arts West for three years. The transition is the result of a lengthy and thorough strategic planning process undertaken by Board and staff.

“Anne is the perfect choice to lead World Arts West,” said Chandre Sarkar-Singhal, Board Chair of World Arts West. “Anne not only brings solid experience to the position, but the knowledge and background of a traditional dancer to the role. She is the first Festival artist, person of color, and immigrant artist to lead this organization. We look forward to working with her to bring World Arts West to the next level.” About Mushet’s legacy, Sarkar-Singhal continued, “Julie’s dedication to the mission of World Arts West has been a great asset to the organization for many years. Her commitment to the quality of production for the Festival helped elevate the work of our ethnic dance community to critical acclaim and garner national attention. She led with heart and vision, and we thank her for her years of service and for producing 17 magnificent Festivals during her tenure.”

2019 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Festival Promo Video

About Anne Huang

Anne Huang joined World Arts West as Development Director in 2016 and currently serves as Deputy Director. “World Arts West has been instrumental in positioning the Bay Area as the epicenter of world dance, and now supports one of the largest multicultural dance networks in the country. In the last 40 years, our dance community has grown dramatically in artistic caliber, size, and the complexity of challenges. At this critical juncture of World Arts West’s growth, I am honored to work with the Board of Directors, staff, artists, and supporters to build a sustainable future for the world dance community. World Arts West is poised to be the national thought leader, presenter, advocate, and convener for world dance. I am thrilled to be the first Festival artist to lead World Arts West.”

Huang is the former Executive Director of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, one of the largest pan-Asian cultural centers in the United States. During her tenure, she transformed OACC from a struggling arts organization in financial crisis into a thriving cultural institution serving 50,000 people per year. As a performing arts presenter, community leader, and arts advocate, Anne has supported many key cultural institutions in the Bay Area and beyond. As a thought leader with deep knowledge of challenges and solutions for cultural artists in the 21st century, Anne is a sought-after speaker and consultant for conference panels, cultural convenings, and resource equity in philanthropy.

Anne Huang has served in leadership roles for Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Immigrant Artist Program, National Dance Project’s Regional Dance Development Initiative, and the City of Oakland’s Mayoral Arts Task Force. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.

“While it’s always difficult to leave a job that you love, the time is right to pass the baton to a new leader,” said Mushet. “It has been an honor to work with the staff, production crew, Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers, and thousands of local dancers and musicians who have created such deep beauty, enriching my life and the lives of so many thousands of people throughout the Bay Area. I know that I’m leaving the organization in good hands with the promotion of Anne Huang, with whom I have enjoyed working with the past three years.”

About Julie Mushet

In her 17 years at the helm, Julie Mushet’s accomplishments include building an outstanding staff and Festival production team and turning a beloved community festival into a world-class performance experience for both the artists and audiences, while navigating a series of venue disruption issues in a vastly changing San Francisco. Her commitment to building cultural literacy has been impressive, developing the Festival’s program book into a cherished cultural resource for information about the 100+ dance forms from around the world that are being sustained by local artists throughout the greater Bay Area.

Festival Co-Artistic Director Patrick Makuakāne said, “Julie is a visionary and boundary-breaker. She made all of us believe that what we had to offer as traditional artists was as valuable and artistically vibrant as any western dance form presented anywhere in the world. Good enough to sell out the San Francisco Opera House. Under her guidance, the Ethnic Dance Festival transitioned from a lovely showcase of traditional arts to presenting work that represents the peak of cultural excellence and professionalism. This transformation of our ‘ethnic dance’ landscape happened because Julie is not only an advocate of our work, but a champion—advocates passively support, champions make things happen. She leaves a legacy of imagination and boldness. We all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Perhaps Julie’s mark will be most remembered by most people at the joyful jam following every Festival performance, as she was the one to break the “fourth wall” in theater and bring all of the artists in the Festival’s final bow from the stage into the lobby of the Palace of Fine Arts to dance with the audience members.

About World Arts West and the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

World Arts West is a San Francisco-based, non-profit organization that supports over 600 Bay Area dance companies that are sustaining and celebrating the world’s cultural legacy. After four decades of extensive work with artists throughout the Bay Area’s diverse communities, World Arts West is being increasingly recognized for creating the epicenter for dance from over 100 unique world cultures, resulting in the most vibrant and diverse dance community in the world.

Mission of World Arts West

The mission of World Arts West is to support local artists sustaining diverse world dance and music traditions by providing needed services and performance opportunities, while deepening the public’s support of and engagement with these inspiring culture bearers.

Vision of World Arts West

World Arts West’s vision is to work with artists, organizations, and communities to increase cultural competence and understanding as a foundational base for social justice.


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