Brian McGuigan is the program director at Artist Trust, a nonprofit organization that provides grants, professional development, and resources for artists of all disciplines in Washington State. Brian oversees the strategy for the organization’s programs, facilitates its grantmaking programs, and is part of its leadership team. He travels around the state leading workshops on the business of being an artist and speaks on panels and at conferences on artist issues in the region. Before Artist Trust, Brian was the program director at Hugo House where he oversaw the Seattle-based literary center’s education programs, events, residences, and fellowships. Throughout his career, Brian has been a champion for artists and writers. For a decade, he curated, with author Steve Barker, Seattle’s coolest reading series, Cheap Wine & Poetry and Cheap Beer & Prose, pairing local writers with $1 beers and cups of two-buck Chuck. He was the director of Lit Crawl Seattle, the city’s booziest night of readings, in 2015; an ambassador for On the Boards, a contemporary dance and theatre space, in 2014 & 2015; the curator of the Seattle City Council’s Words’ Worth Poetry Series in 2007; and is currently a member of the Individual Artist Support Committee for Grantmakers in the Arts, and an advisory board member of Mineral School, a writers’ residency in rural Washington State.
For his work in the arts, Brian was shortlisted for The Stranger Genius Award in 2010 and named one of the Power 50 Culture Makers by City Arts Magazine in 2011. In addition to his career in the arts, Brian is a writer, performer, and retired poet. His essays have appeared in The Stranger, Gawker’s Saturday Essay Series, The Rumpus, Salon, ParentMap, and elsewhere, and he’s received grants and fellowships from Artist Trust, 4Culture, the Jack Straw Writers Program, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. He’s currently at work on a memoir about fatherhood and masculinity.