Volume XX | Issue 2 | Spring 2020
Former Foundation Board Chair Allyn Ford and Foundation President Emeritus Norm Smith converse with Kandis Brewer Nunn at an event honoring her service to the Visual Arts Program. Photo: Harold Hutchinson

Meagan Atiyeh named senior adviser

Foundation renews investment in Visual Arts Program

The leadership of The Ford Family Foundation’s Visual Arts Program has changed. Longtime senior adviser Kandis Brewer Nunn handed the reins to experienced arts manager Meagan Atiyeh in January. 

Meagan Atiyeh

“Kandis Brewer Nunn spearheaded the development of our Visual Arts Program, and she has overseen and grown it since its inception,” says Allyson Ford, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and granddaughter of Kenneth and Hallie Ford. “We are grateful for her strategic vision and the years she has devoted to managing the program. Her passion and intelligence have served to nurture Oregon’s visual arts ecology in unique and powerful ways.” 

The Foundation’s Visual Arts Program honors the late Hallie Ford’s interests in the visual arts, providing a range of resources to assist artists and visual arts institutions. 


“Hallie Ford would be genuinely pleased with the direction The Ford Family Foundation Visual Arts Program has taken over the past dozen years,” says John Olbrantz, who knew Hallie Ford personally for nearly 10 years in his role as the director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. “Indeed, the program is unique around the country, and it has helped elevate Oregon artists and Oregon arts institutions to the national stage in a relatively short period of time.”

Brewer Nunn was tapped by the Foundation in 2008 to guide research and development of the Visual Arts Program. Her professional practice in strategic program development services has spanned 47 years in consultative and in-house roles.

Meagan Atiyeh came from the Oregon Arts Commission, where she managed the visual arts programs. Through her management of the state’s Percent for Art program, Atiyeh has brought hundreds of objects into Oregon’s permanent art collection, from important collections of works by national and regional artists to complex site-specific commissions. 

“Meagan is ideally suited to step into this role because of her decades of experience in the contemporary arts field and deep ties to artists and arts professionals locally and nationally,” says Anne Kubisch, president of the Foundation. “Meagan will continue the past practice of coordinating with Carol Dalu, grants manager of the Foundation.” 

Renewed investment

In related news, the Foundation’s Board of Directors recently renewed its investment in the Visual Arts Program, which it launched in 2010 to honor the late Hallie Ford’s interest in the visual arts. The $6.5 million commitment, funded through 2024, reflects an increase in the scope of the program. 

Changes include an increase in the amount of the Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts award to $35,000. Other changes include offering support for exhibitions in artist-run spaces, support for professional documentation of artists’ works, and assistance to strengthen artists’ applications for major arts awards and fellowships. 

Continuing elements of the program include artist residencies, career opportunity grants, critic and curator tours, and grants for exhibitions, documentation and small capital improvements. See the Foundation website for full details of the program. 

Photo of Meagan Atiyeh: Dan Kvitka

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