Person Behind the Place: Leigh Ann More
May 11, 2021 - by Brooke Wilson
Person Behind the Place:
Leigh Ann More
Interim Executive Director | Bellevue Arts Museum
An art enthusiast and advocate through and through, Leigh Ann More recently stepped into a new role as Interim Executive Director at Bellevue Arts Museum, but has been notably active within the Eastside arts & culture scene for years. Her history with the BAM family started over a decade ago as a docent, and later evolved into several prominent leadership positions like docent VP, president, advisor and in 2020, a newly initiated BAM board member. We caught up with her to learn more about her experience, industry insights and favorite destinations in the #HeartofBellevue!
What do you love about working Downtown?
I enjoy all the international cuisine options we have, how increasingly walkable Downtown has become, and the Old Bellevue vibe juxtaposed with the new modern Bellevue architecture.
What kind of growth would you like to see for BAM over the year ahead? What are you looking forward to in your new role?
It is fundamental that we foster an environment that is always welcoming for artists and visitors alike. BAM is looking inward and investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion work. I look forward to the day when we can safely be open at full capacity once again and return to our regular schedule. In the meantime, I've enjoyed seeing the many visitors that have pre-booked reservations to experience the exhibitions during our partial reopening.
Any upcoming events or exclusive promotions happening at Bellevue Arts Museum?
We are excited to launch BAM’s virtual Artful Evening gala on July 17 and our 75th annual Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair, running July 21 - August 4. The Fair, which began in 1947, served as the original impetus to create an art museum in Bellevue. In 2021, the Arts Fair will be organized as a custom, virtual marketplace featuring around 200 artists. In future years, the Fair will be open both online and in person. As we gear up for our annual gala, the Museum has committed to sharing some of its revenue with Centro Cultural Mexicano and Big Table to help raise awareness and support their fantastic work in our community.
What has BAM's community involvement looked like during the pandemic?
Early in the pandemic, BAM helped form the Eastside Culture Coalition because we recognized that our community would be better served if all of our Eastside arts & culture organizations made it through the closures. We reached out to the organization leaders we knew, added more along the way, and now we have dozens of nonprofits meeting on a bi-weekly basis to share ideas and information about how we can strengthen our sector and our work in the community.
Any favorite places to shop in Bellevue?
Check out the BAM Store – beautiful hand-crafted jewelry, original PNW art, ceramics, glass, home accessories, books, scarves and textiles!
Favorite places to dine?
Belle Pastry for quiche and a cappuccino. Bake's Place has great ambience inside and out - lush patio seating, a cute Tiki Bar, craft cocktails, and of course great live music!
Where do you like to relax or hang out in Bellevue?
Dote in Lincoln Square South – handcrafted treats from an internationally renowned pastry chef and master chocolatier right down the street from the Museum!
Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.