Michelle Williams joined Arts Council Santa Cruz County as Executive Director in 2009. Michelle was raised in the arts and studied dance, cello, piano, bass and voice before focusing her talents on theater and writing. After earning a BFA in Musical Theater, she worked in theaters and recording studios across the U.S. as well as internationally. She has also worked as a writer, EMT, emergency services responder in disaster relief, and in wine education and hospitality.

Michelle’s passions for radical partnerships, workplace culture, and harnessing the power of the arts to ignite community change are what drive her work. She has served on numerous panels for the California Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts and has presented across the country on topics such as arts funding, arts advocacy, program development, public art, and building partnerships. She serves on the board of the Santa Cruz Convention and Visitors Council, Tannery Arts Center, KUSP, and the Advisory Board of the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery. When she’s not advocating for the arts, you’ll find Michelle dancing, wrestling, drawing, and playing with her two beautiful boys, two-year-old Alex and four-year-old Andrew.

She is also a little obsessed with knitting, pines for a return to yoga, and is not afraid to admit she loves books and movies with dragons in them.

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