Renton, WA – Key to Change is awarding Vivian Phillips with its inaugural Community Achievement Award during the awards ceremony of the Spring Salon Fundraiser at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 2:00pm. Phillips, who is an advisory board member of Key to Change is being recognized for her loyal service to the community and outstanding achievements as a respected arts advocate and youth ambassador.
Phillips is a communications professional and arts leader. She is the founder of ARTE NOIR, which launched in May 2021 as an online publication celebrating Black art and culture from the African diaspora. In September 2022, ARTE NOIR opened as a physical space in the historic Central District. In 2020, Vivian teamed with veteran arts journalist Marcie Sillman to create and produce the doubleXposure podcast, giving voice to the ways in which arts, creativity, and culture shape our lives and community.In her professional career, Vivian has served as the director of Communications for a Seattle Mayor, led Marketing and Communications teams for a major performing arts organization, taught Persuasive Communications to MFA level university students, and led a critical transition for a local community-based arts organization. For several years, Vivian was a staple on local television hosting and producing public affairs programs focusing on issues of significance to Seattle’s civic policy, arts, and culture. She is also the co-founder of The Hansberry Project African American theatre lab and has independently produced several stage presentations. Vivian was part of the producing team for the 2022 Broadway production of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow was enuf, which received a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Play.
As a community servant, Vivian has participated in and led major efforts, locally and internationally. Her service has been key for the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, the Seattle Theatre Group, Washington State Building for the Arts, Seattle Center Foundation, Seattle University College of Arts & Sciences, Seafair, Seattle Women’s Commission, ArtsCorps, CD Forum, LANGSTON, Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District, the Cultural Space Agency, KUOW/PSPR Board, 4Culture (Board Chair 2020-2021), Seattle Arts Commission (Board Chair 2015-2018). She currently serves on the University of Washington Foundation Board, Vulcan Arts Advisory, and ArtsFund Allocations Committee.
“Ms. Phillips is a household name in our city, who has provided tremendous support to so many people in our community”, said Dr. Quinton Morris, executive director of Key to Change. “So many people have been touched by her generous mentorship, and warm heart, which has made all of our lives better. Honoring her with the Key to Change Community Achievement Award is the least we can do to recognize her brilliance and service to our community”
Having spent much of her career as an independent consultant, Vivian’s expertise and authentic leadership style has led to excellent outcomes for projects in Washington and Oregon. Project highlights include arts and creative economy planning and implementation for the City of Seattle, the City of Olympia, Seattle Arts and Cultural Districts, Seattle Waterfront, and the Oregon Community Fund. She has led efforts to elevate equitable recognition for Black and artists of color specifically, and her community engagement skills have made major impacts toward intentional arts inclusion for local developers. For her work with community and developers, the Puget Sound Business Journal recognized Vivian with a Commercial Real Estate Leadership Award as an Equity Champion. Vivian is often sought out as a public speaker and as a facilitator to lead groups through new development and transformative change. Her inclusive, focused and solutions-oriented style are often noted as key characteristics and skills.
Phillips will be honored during the award ceremony of the Spring Salon Fundraiser on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 2:00pm in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Hall at Benaroya Hall. To attend the Spring Salon Fundraiser, please visit here.