Keeping Art Alive in These Times


IN HIS ROLE as executive director of the College Art Association, Hunter O’Hanian is in a unique position to understand how government policy and funding affect the arts in higher education. Other positions he has held in arts management have given him a broad overview of the art world from both a creative and an institutional perspective.

         For almost a decade, starting in 1997, O’Hanian was the executive director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. He served for three years, starting in 2009, as a vice president of the Massachusetts College of Art (MassArt) in Boston. Prior to taking his position at the CAA last year, he was the museum director for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in Manhattan.

         Public support for all of the arts is under threat in the wake of last November’s election. In this interview, which was conducted by phone in May, O’Hanian addresses the challenges facing both artists and arts organizations in the current political environment.   

— Cassandra Langer


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