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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > LaShelle Named Nonprofit Executive of the Year at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards

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LaShelle Named Nonprofit Executive of the Year at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards

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Nov 23, 2015

On Tuesday, November 17, the Nonprofit Excellence Awards honored Karen LaShelle, Executive Director of Creative Action (Austin, TX). This award is presented to a nonprofit staff leader (CEO, Executive Director, or equivalent) whose achievements have resulted in significant progress toward resolving a critical community issue. Recognized by peers as a leader in the sector, Karen demonstrates excellence in leadership and management, and inspires others to achieve meaningful, measurable and sustainable results.

Karen began working at Creative Action as a volunteer in 2003 and has helped the organization grow from serving 800 young people to its current reach. This year, Karen was chosen as a National Guild Ambassador and, over the course of 2016, she will coordinate events aimed at strengthening arts education in Texas and beyond. In addition to the 2015 Mission Capital Executive Director of the Year, Karen is a member of the 2010 Leadership Austin Essential Class, won the “Austin Under 40” Arts and Culture award in 2011, and was a 2012 and 2013 finalist for the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Karen is a member of the 2015 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute through the National Guild. Karen was a member of the Create Austin Cultural Planning Task Force and sits on the Steering Committee for MINDPOP. Previous positions: Assistant to the Artistic Director and Outreach Associate at Northlight Theatre (Chicago), Co-director of Redmoon Theatre’s award winning program Dramagirls (Chicago), Arts Specialist for Interfaith Neighbors Girlspace (New York City). Karen holds a BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MA in Community Based Arts from New York University.

About Creative Action

The mission of Creative Action is to spark and support the academic, social and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after school arts residencies and community-based programs, Creative Action’s team of professional Teaching Artists inspire youth to be creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers, and confident leaders in their community. By discovering their own voice, gaining confidence in sharing their perspectives, wrestling with big ideas, and deeply engaging in the world around them, youth become better prepared to work through social, emotional, and academic challenges to become the next great thinkers, doers, and makers in our world.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.