Miah Michaelsen. Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the Indiana Arts Commission. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) has announced that Miah Michaelsen will serve as the agency’s next executive director. Michaelsen’s history with the IAC spans more than a decade, beginning as a regional arts partner for both the City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Area Arts Council. She has served as the agency’s deputy director of operations since 2016.

A seven-member search committee that included artists, arts organizations, and commissioners led the search process.

“We could not be more excited to welcome Miah Michaelsen as the next executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission,” says Alberta Barker, Indiana Arts Commission chair and chair of the search committee. “Miah has a track record of innovation, a demonstrated history of leadership, and a deeply held commitment to the arts in our state. We look forward to working with her and the great team already in place at the Indiana Arts Commission as they guide the agency into a new era.”

Before joining the IAC, Michaelsen served as the first assistant economic development director for the arts for the City of Bloomington. In that role she developed and implemented all aspects of programming and services offered to the creative sector by the City of Bloomington and its state-designated cultural district, the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District.

She also served in executive director roles for the Bloomington Area Arts Council; the Children’s Hands-On Museum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and the Kentuck Art Center and Festival in Northport, Alabama. She has served on panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Arts Council of Indianapolis, and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Michaelsen is a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, Arizona, with a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Theatre. She lives in Bloomington with her husband, Jonathan, and has two adult sons: Brendan and Wyeth. 

Michaelsen replaces Lewis Ricci, who retired after 15 years of service as executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission.