Carolyn Owen Anderson is the former director of Why Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to providing Omaha’s underserved populations with access to inclusive quality arts programming. The organization contracts with professional teaching artists to conduct residencies, workshops and activities in the visual arts, theatre, dance/movement, music, the spoken word, literature, storytelling, animation and other forms of art. It also builds original arts programming for nonprofits, schools, social service agencies and others that enriches their missions and curriculums, and advocates for the arts by sharing best practices at local, regional and national trainings and conferences.
Prior to taking the helm at Why Arts, Anderson served as project director of the Partnership in Aging Network, development associate and event coordinator at Lauritzen Gardens, marketing and event director at the Strategic Air & Space Museum, development director/public relations coordinator for Boys and Girls Clubs of Omaha, Inc., and project director at Nebraska Good Beginnings. Currently she is doing consulting in arts programming with Heartland Family Services, JP Lord School, and Munroe Meyer Institute.
She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, her master’s degree in agency counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and her Ed.S. in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Anderson is a member of the board of directors of Blue Barn Theatre, and Great Plains
She has 5 children and 12 grandchildren, and takes a daily jog.