Maine Arts Commission Hires a New Executive Director

  • June 11, 2024


Maine Arts Commission Hires a New Executive Director

The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Hausmann as its new executive director. Hausmann currently serves as the director of Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, New York, a National Historic Landmark and public park designed by artist Frederic Church.

She will join the commission in August.

 A 25-year public servant with a demonstrated commitment to artists and making art and culture accessible to all, Hausmann’s prior experience includes her work as senior curator and deputy director of collections and exhibitions for the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn and as deputy director for Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design, a multi-agency department responsible for award-winning visual and performing art programs for New York City’s subway and rail stations.

As director at Olana, Hausmann is responsible for all aspects of the 250-acre property’s cultural, historic, and natural resources, including Church’s historic home, studio, and landscape. A key figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters who also famously painted Mount Katahdin and Mount Desert in Maine, Church designed his towering home and high-elevation property with dramatic views of the Hudson River Valley.

“I am honored to be selected to lead the Maine Arts Commission to champion the dynamic arts community found across the state. While I have been based in New York City and upstate New York for 30 years, my heart has always belonged to Maine, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to serve alongside our dedicated commissioners and staff. Maine’s landscape, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant artistic community inspire me,” said Hausmann, who spent childhood summers in Ocean Park, where she was married on the beach, and spends vacations visiting her parents who own a farm in Richmond.

“I’m dedicated to providing space and access for diverse communities to tell stories that link past and present to the future, highlighting and deepening connections that celebrate our individual and shared experience. I look forward to working with the team and our partners to nurture, celebrate, and promote all artistic disciplines, fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity to ensure the arts flourish across our communities.”

At Olana, Hausmann ensures that exhibitions, programs, and projects achieve standards and goals set by New York State Parks related to accessibility, innovation, and cultural stewardship. She collaborated with private partners to provide free and equal access to public art and performance at the park which achieved the highest visitation in Olana’s 54-year history in 2021, a 74-percent increase over 2019 when she became director. Working with long-time collaborators, Poetry Society of America, Hausmann recently launched Poetry in the Parks, a public art initiative that integrates contemporary poems in New York State parks and historic sites.

Before beginning her tenure with the Maine Arts Commission, Hausmann will oversee the final stages of an ambitious $25-million public-private investment in capital projects led by New York State Parks to support Olana’s Strategic Landscape Design Plan.

At the New York Transit Museum, Hausmann directed a team of curators and archivists who acquired, preserved, interpreted, and presented a collection of art and artifacts that tell the story of the largest urban transportation system in the United States, including exhibitions at its flagship museum in a decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn and a gallery in Grand Central Terminal.

In her role with MTA Art & Design, Hausmann commissioned award-winning visual and performing art programs for New York’s subway and rail stations, including Poetry in Motion, while reaching 1.6 billion riders annually. She directed a Percent-for-Art program that commissioned and conserved a public art collection that includes installations by contemporary artists Romare Bearden, James Carpenter, Mel Chin, G. Peter Jemison, Nancy Holt, Faith Ringgold, Sam Gilliam, Al Held, Alex Katz, Jacob Lawrence, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Murray, Liliana Porter, Yoko Ono, Nancy Spero, and many others.

During her tenure, she oversaw the selection of more than 150 new permanent contemporary art commissions totaling $22 million, including monumental works by Firelei Báez, Xenobia Bailey, Chuck Close, Ann Hamilton, Ellen Harvey, James Little, Vik Muniz, Portia Munson, Kambui Olujimi, Duke Riley, Jean Shin, Alyson Shotz, Shinique Smith, Sarah Sze, William Wegman, Saya Woolfalk, and others.

As an award-winning art director, Hausmann commissioned countless illustrators, graphic, and digital artists to create work for the subway system including Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, Sophie Blackall, Ashley Bryan, R. Gregory Christie, Marcos Chin, Susan Farrington, William Low, Jennifer Judd-McGee, Victo Ngai, James Ransome, Julia Rothman, Yuko Shimizu, Peter Sis, James Yang, and Olimpia Zagnoli.

She started her career working as an assistant to the director of Artists Space in New York, beginning as an intern at the not-for-profit gallery, and working with under-recognized and mid-career artists, providing grant and exhibition opportunities.

Hausmann holds a B.A. in studio art and art history from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and was an artist resident and staff member at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont.

Her numerous awards include the Susan L. Kupferman Award for Excellence in Public Service in 2014, gold and silver medals for art direction from the Society of Illustrators, and Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City Culture and Outstanding New York City Museum Exhibition, for Poetry in Motion, both in 2019 from the Guides Association of New York City, among others.

Hausmann's appointment coincides with the Maine Arts Commission's recent adoption of a comprehensive five-year strategic plan. This plan underscores the commission's commitment to supporting Maine artists and arts organizations while also prioritizing the exploration of novel avenues to serve the arts sector. Emphasis is placed on nurturing collaborations among artists and organizations, fostering a dynamic and interconnected artistic community.

In a statement, Gov. Janet Mills said she was looking forward to working with Hausmann and the commission to promote the arts in Maine. “Amy impressed me with her experience, her history of working with visual artists, writers, performers, musicians, and others, and her commitment to preserving culture while also finding new ways to make the arts present in people’s daily lives,” Mills said. “This is an exciting time for the Maine Arts Commission, and we’re thrilled that Amy has agreed to lead the commission’s ongoing work to support the arts in Maine.”

Hausmann will replace David Greenham, who left the commission last fall. Julie Horn, the commission’s assistant director, has served as interim executive director and will return to her previous position when Hausmann begins her duties.

The commission considered a pool of more than 90 applicants, said Maine Arts Commission Chair Bob Keyes of Waterville, who helped lead the search for a new director.

“We had many talented and qualified people apply for this position, which resulted in a spirited search process. Amy emerged as our top choice because of her experience and success in her previous roles, and because of her vision and passion for public service. We were inspired by her ideas and enthusiasm,” he said. “In our conversations with her, she always put artists first and emphasized the role of artists in contributing to a better society. We identified Amy as someone capable of achieving the agency’s strategic goals while also being a champion for art and culture throughout the state and raising the profile of the Maine Arts Commission in the nation and beyond.”

Nat May, Arts Program Officer for the Onion Foundation, served on the search committee as an arts-sector liaison. He became aware of Hausmann’s work when she gave a talk in 2009 about public art at SPACE Gallery in Portland, where he served as executive director.

“She has broad arts knowledge and experience working for a variety of organizations and state agencies, and she will arrive at the job already having a deep appreciation for Maine as a place of inspiration for artists,” May said. “Amy is incredibly thoughtful and considerate of artists, arts workers, and audiences. I look forward to working with her to support and encourage creative intersections across the state.”

Hausmann said she was eager to relocate to Maine with her husband, Matt, and begin her work with the Maine Arts Commission.

“Besides Olana, the only property that Frederic Church owned in his lifetime was a rustic camp on the shores of Lake Millinocket, and from that cherished spot, he sketched and painted Katahdin hundreds of times,” she said. “Church, like me and the millions who visit Maine each year, returned to this place because of an ardent and abiding appreciation of the landscape and the vibrant culture. E. B. White said it best when he described the feeling of being in Maine as a gift from a true love. There is a deep healing found in the extraordinary natural world here and I’m interested in exploring and expanding the interconnectedness between nature, art, and well-being that thrives in this great state.”


Maine Arts Commission News Maine Arts Blog Highlights

Filter Press Releases

Name or Keyword


Date Range

Contact Information

Ryan Leighton

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333