Carol Varney is a creative strategist, an empathetic listener, and a servant leader whose roots in New England and career on the West coast of the United States inform her work. Carol has been an Executive Director for TimeSlips – an international arts and health organization, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona – the regional arts funder and service provider of Southern Arizona, and Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco, leading workforce development and filmmaker services on a regional and national level. She has also worked as a consultant for family philanthropies and national media and arts organizations including the Virginia Hodgins Somers Foundation, The Calley Foundation, Draw Together, The Intercept, and Economic Hardship Reporting Project, among others.
Carol has regularly served organizations with multiple funding and business streams, including earned income through membership and education services, foundation funding from small and national level entities, and government funding from local, state, and federal funders. She has regularly served as the liaison for the quasi-governmental 501c3 Arts Foundation, elected officials and artists in the greater Tucson community, and as a liaison between workforce initiatives in the Bay Area and national workforce initiatives.
As a leader, Carol is focused on moving from mission to practical impact, and developing infrastructure that matches organizational goals. She has helped build technical and operational infrastructure at each organization she’s served, and guided the organizations through transparent strategic planning process, built the strength of the boards, and honed programming to better serve intended constituencies. Her leadership has turned around organizational relationships with City-based funding from one that feared complete defunding to one that garnered recommendations for increased funding and expanded partnership.
At Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in San Francisco, Carol oversaw all program areas, fundraising and development activities, and participated on BAVC award review panels, as well as award and grants panels nationally. Before her role as Executive Director, Carol served as BAVC’s Managing Director from 2010-2012 and as Director of Development from 2008-2011. During Carol’s tenure at BAVC, the organization received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI), an award for innovation from the Aspen Institute, was given the position of San Francisco’s first-ever Tech Sector Coordinator, and its youth programs were recognized with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award — the nation’s highest honor for after-school and out-of-school-time arts and humanities programs — by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, conferred by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony in fall 2016.
Before joining BAVC, Carol worked for many years in advancement activities for cultural organizations such as Stanford Live, Maine College of Art and the Portland Museum of Art. Carol was a member of the 2014-2015 class of National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program: Arts and Community, and currently serves as a Trustee for the Board of Trustees of Hampshire College. She is a past Executive Committee Board member of SPACE Gallery, the Maine Jewish Film Festival, and Project Inform, and also served on the board of San Francisco Cinematheque, Camden International Film Festival, and the Bay Area Chapter of the NAMES Project. Carol holds a degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Hampshire College.
LinkedIn: Carol Varney