Maui Arts & Entertainment

State Foundation on Culture and the Arts passes executive director torch to Wong

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Allison Wong

Allison Wong was named the new executive director of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, effective Aug. 1.

She has served the foundation as a board commissioner, a volunteer position appointed by the governor of Hawaiʻi.

Wong’s resume includes: Director of Partnerships for Hawaiʻi Contemporary (formerly the Honolulu Biennial Foundation); Executive Director at The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu; and Deputy Director of Administration and Operations at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

“Wong possesses an ideal combination of first-hand knowledge of Hawaiʻi’s arts funding ecosystem, experience in nonprofit leadership and community engagement, and a deep commitment to the artistic community through the arts,” foundation Board Chair Lloyd Unebasami said.

Outgoing Executive Director Jonathan Johnson retires June 30, after eight years as executive director and 34 years at the foundation. Karen Ewald, the foundation’s Art in Public Places Program Director/Hawaiʻi State Art Museum Director, will serve as Interim Executive Director in July.


“Passing the torch to Allison Wong is exciting for myself, the agency and the community,” Johnson said. “I look forward to watching an exciting new chapter of the agency unfold.”


Wong said she is eager to being working with staff, commissioners, community partners, artists and the legislature to advocate and build on the foundation’s history to serve all communities “through Hawaiʻi’s amazing creative economy.”

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