California Arts Council

State of California

At the arts council

Hilary Amnah Joins the Arts Council as Arts Program Specialist


Published: 11-09-2017

The California Arts Council is pleased to welcome its newest staff member, Arts Program Specialist Hilary Amnah.

Hilary is passionate about serving communities of all shapes, sizes, cultures, abilities, and geographies, and feels fortunate to do this in California. Prior to moving to California, Hilary developed the Local Arts Agency program at the Utah Division of Arts & Museums and served over 75 local arts agencies throughout the state. She also administered the Change Leader program, a professional development institute to help arts and cultural leaders lead positive change in their communities. During her time at Utah's state arts agency, Hilary worked with constituents in every corner of the state, from urban cities like Salt Lake City to rural regions like Navajo Nation.

In 2015, Hilary founded the Salt Lake Emerging Arts Professionals, a network of emerging arts leaders in Salt Lake County. Participants are interested in collaborative work, their own professional growth, and fostering the future of the creative sector throughout Salt Lake County. In 2016, she had the privilege of participating in two collaborative artworks let by prominent Utah artists. Hilary participated in a work titled "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" by performance artist Jorge Rojas. She also created stencil art in a collaborative mural of influential women throughout history, led by pop artist Jann Haworth. The mural, titled "Work in Progress," was exhibited at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hilary was elected to and currently serves on Americans for the Arts' Emerging Leaders Council--one of AFTA's four advisory councils. She also serves on the Robert E. Gard Foundation board.

While in graduate school, Hilary got experience working in folk and traditional arts administration at the Oregon Folklife Network, which serves tradition bearers and their communities throughout the state of Oregon. While there, she helped coordinate the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program grant and other public folklore programs.

Some of her previous community arts-related experience includes the Lane Arts Council (a local arts agency in Eugene, Oregon), Know Your City (a creative place-making organization in Portland, Oregon), We Care Arts (an arts nonprofit that provides services for individuals with disabilities in Dayton, Ohio), and the Urban Arts Space (a visual and performing arts space in Columbus, Ohio). She worked at the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission before joining the California Arts Council.

Hilary is an advocate for rural arts and culture, and conducted her master's research on the impact of informal arts participation (arts participation that occurs outside of educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and professional settings) on community development.

"I am grateful to be joining the team at CAC, as well as the opportunity to work with communities in California," says Hilary. "I am committed to continuing the great work of our state arts agency, and look forward to exploring ways to engage more communities, organizations, and Californians in our work."

Hilary hails from the Appalachian foothills of Southeast Ohio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from The Ohio State University and an master's degree in Arts Management with a Community Arts concentration from the University of Oregon.

Hilary's first day at the Arts Council was October 23, 2017. She can be reached at or 916-322-6502.