The Heinz Endowments today announced the appointment of Mac Howison as Program Officer for Creative Learning. Mr. Howison will take up his new position on October 3, 2017, and his work will focus primarily on grantee initiatives that intersect with the Endowments’ Creativity and Learning program areas.
The Program Officer for Creative Learning is a newly created position, and reflects the Endowments’ emphasis on work that helps ensure a regional environment where all Pittsburgh residents – especially children and youth – have access to the benefits of creative opportunities.
Mr. Howison will help develop and implement a range of cross-sectional grantmaking activity related to arts education and creativity in both public education and out-of-school settings. The Endowments supports grantmaking in three primary emphasis areas - Creativity, Learning, and Sustainability – with particular attention given to the work of nonprofits that crosses over into one or more of the emphasis areas.
Additionally, Mr. Howison will be responsible for advancing the foundation’s work in arts education, including the Arts Education Collaborative and the Transformative Arts Program. He will foster a slate of arts education grantees and collaborate with the Endowments’ vice presidents of Creativity and Learning in developing grantmaking initiatives.
“I am delighted to welcome Mac Howison to The Heinz Endowments,” said Janet Sarbaugh, the Endowments’ Vice President for Creativity. “Mac brings strong knowledge of the cultural community and grassroots grantmaking as well as valued experience and a personal dedication to creative and educational equity. He will be instrumental in building our commitment cross-programmatic grantmaking by focusing on creative learning with both the Creativity and Learning programs at the Endowments.”
Mr. Howison brings over 15 years of arts education, programming, and funding experience to the Endowments. Most recently he served as Senior Program Officer for Catalytic Funding for The Sprout Fund, spearheading their grantmaking programs, supervising funding resources awarded through the organization’s programs and overseeing its grantee portfolio. Mr. Howison’s portfolio has spanned more than 700 projects, together representing investments of over $5 million.
While at The Sprout Fund, Mr. Howison worked closely with founding directors and fellow program officers in design, development and evaluation of new programs, and fostered community-based decision-making to better ensure funded projects reflected Pittsburgh’s diverse communities. His work at The Sprout Fund advanced awareness of the critical role artists can have in shaping communities, and promoted community-building through grantmaking programs like One Northside Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Remake Learning, and the Seed Award.
A former educator with Carnegie Museum of Art, Mr. Howison taught art to youth at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches, created outreach curriculum, and led interpretive tours of the Museum’s collections. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Mr. Howison was honored as a 2016 Professionals Learning About Community, Equity, and Smart growth (PLACES) fellow by The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Cities. The fellowship – one of 15 awarded nationwide – provided tools and resources for training participants on the advancement of racial equality in philanthropy.