Kim Dabbs advocates for the arts
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature profiles of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
Kim Dabbs is passionate about collaboration within and among sectors, and as executive director of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, she serves the mission of creating a culture of opportunity for people to make social and economic progress in their lives and community.
Since 2012, Dabbs has worked with the WMCAT board in Grand Rapids to set strategic direction, with a keen eye on stakeholder partnerships and fiscal sustainability.
Previously, she spent six years leading Michigan Youth Arts in Royal Oak, where she managed programs for 250,000 high school students, building a statewide advocacy coalition to increase funding for youth arts education.
In 2010, Dabbs received a Joyce Fellowship from Americans for the Arts to explore communities of color and their engagement as part of a year-long study.
A recipient of the Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts, she also earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Art Education Association, the Friend of Music Education Award from the Friend of Music Education Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Ferris University’s Kendall College of Art and Design.
In 2013, she was named to the 40 Under Forty list by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
In the community
Dabbs sits on the board for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. She serves on the Leadership Committee for the Extended Learning Opportunities Network, the Education Policy Committee for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Varnum’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.