September 23, 2022 (PHOENIX, AZ) — West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) is proud to announce
that Michael Denson has been named Executive Director of West Valley Arts Council. Michael
is a community-minded leader and artist, with extensive creative and consulting experience
within the arts and culture sector, bringing new life to the role. He will be transitioning from his
previously held interim Executive Director role into full time placement, effective this month.
"The Board of Directors is excited that Michael Denson will be leading the West Valley Arts
Council,” said Jonathan Robles, Board President for WVAC. “Michael has demonstrated great
leadership in his interim role and we are confident that he will continue to build a strong
foundation for the WVAC. Michael appreciates the rich history of the WVAC and is passionate
about growing the arts in the West Valley."
Michael joined WVAC in 2020 as the Gallery Director of the Arts HQ Gallery, quickly
transforming the space into a sought out destination for diverse, innovative, and meaningful
experiences in art. He was appointed Interim Executive Director in March of 2022 where he
brought much needed visionary thinking and strategic planning to the role. His leadership and
oversight ushered in a new, collaborative movement within WVAC, which has already led to the
finalization of the organization’s exciting new 5 year strategic plan.
“I am incredibly impressed at what WVAC has accomplished in the past 50 years,” said Denson.
“However, I am even more excited for where we are going. In collaboration with local artists,
partner organizations, cities, businesses, supporters, and community members, we are well on
our way to establish the West Valley as a world class destination for art and culture.”
Michael earned his Master of Arts in Innovation and Leadership from Kilns College and his Bachelor of Arts in Photography from The College of Santa Fe. Michael has 13 years of combined experience in nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, and development of innovative programs and experiences. He honed his skills and knowledge through his work for The Rag Collection and Food for the Hungry, Valley non-profit organizations serving the youth, and the marginalized and disadvantaged. His experience as an artist, advocator, and leader in the arts sector has given him keen insight and desire for seeing communities transform through the power of the arts. As Executive Director, Michael focuses on strengthening existing collaborations, building new partnerships, and growing meaningful art and culture activity within the West Valley.
An accomplished visual artist, Michael has exhibited his works in galleries throughout the valley since 2009. His most recent mural works can be seen in Peoria and Glendale. A world traveler and culture craver, Michael has done photojournalism work in South America and the Middle East, as well as an artist residency in India. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, he now resides in Glendale, AZ with his wife and son.