Anita Walker, Executive Director, Massachusetts Cultural Council
Anita Walker has served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts
Cultural Council (MCC) since April 2007. Walker is the Commonwealth’s
highest ranking cultural official, overseeing a range of grant
programs, services, and advocacy for the arts, humanities, and
sciences in communities across Massachusetts.
Walker has raised the visibility of the creative sector as a driving force for growth and prosperity in Massachusetts. She led investment of $37 million in arts and cultural building projects statewide since 2007 through the Mass. Cultural Facilities Fund. The Fund has provided more than 11,000 construction jobs and will create more than 1,150 new permanent jobs, while helping to spur nearly $840 million in new investment in Massachusetts. Walker also led a new program of operating support for nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations called the Cultural
Investment Portfolio that deepens the state’s partnership with nearly 400 outstanding institutions.
Under Walker’s leadership, MCC also has put a spotlight on the role that creativity and arts education play in student achievement and success. She led the effort to include the arts as part of the Massachusetts Board of Education’s recommended core curriculum for high school students. She launched the Creative
Minds initiative, through which MCC has expanded its reach to provide arts education to more Massachusetts schoolchildren. She also led a partnership with the Bank of America Foundation to create the Big Yellow School
Bus program, which has helped schools send more than 100,000 students on field trips to Mass. cultural organizations.
Before coming to Massachusetts, Walker was director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for seven years, serving simultaneously as executive director of the Iowa Arts Council, administrator of the State Historical Society, and the state historic preservation officer. Walker is a native of California and a graduate of Arizona University. She and her husband reside in Boston.