Press Release - January 8, 2014

January 8, 2014

Contact: Anita Woo
206-262-3245, office
206-795-1602, cell

EMP Museum Names Patty Isacson Sabee as New CEO and Director


SEATTLE—EMP Museum announced today the promotion of Patty Isacson Sabee as its new CEO and director, effective immediately. Ms. Isacson Sabee has served as the museum’s acting CEO for the past year and as deputy director of external relations and advancement since 2007. The appointment was announced by EMP Board President Jody Allen.

“Patty has demonstrated exceptional leadership, boundless energy and a tireless commitment to move EMP forward,” said Allen. “She has the right combination of knowledge, depth and experience to further elevate EMP’s position as a world-class arts and cultural institution.”

In her role, Ms. Isacson Sabee will report to EMP’s Board of Trustees and be responsible for managing all aspects of the non-profit museum’s operations, including executing a strategic plan to help the organization achieve long-term financial sustainability. She will oversee EMP’s content development and production of new exhibitions and programs that advance the museum’s mission of making popular culture relevant to all audiences by connecting the community to artists and the creative process.

Under Ms. Isacson Sabee’s leadership, EMP has experienced significant growth in attendance, membership, and community support. The museum also opened several new blockbuster exhibitions and launched new educational initiatives and dynamic programming for pop culture enthusiasts of all ages.

“It is an honor to be asked to lead this unique institution, representing the very best of creativity and innovation in American popular culture,” noted Ms. Isacson Sabee in accepting the appointment. “I am privileged to build on the visionary work of its founders, Paul and Jody Allen, in infusing EMP with dynamic and inventive exhibitions and programs that inspire an understanding of the extraordinary possibilities that exist within ourselves.”

Ms. Isacson Sabee has been a respected leader in Seattle’s arts and cultural community for more than 20 years. Prior to her tenure at EMP, she served in leadership positions at the Seattle Symphony including interim executive director and managing director of Benaroya Hall at its opening in 1998.

Ms. Isacson Sabee’s promotion follows a rigorous yearlong national search by a museum committee comprised of current board members and advisors. “Patty cares deeply about arts education, cultural relevancy, and community engagement,” said Susan M. Coliton, trustee and chair of the search committee. “She seizes opportunities and embraces EMP’s practice of innovation and risk-taking – all central to our vision of a sustainable future for the museum.”

About EMP Museum

EMP is a leading-edge, nonprofit museum, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel popular culture. With its roots in rock ‘n’ roll, EMP serves as a gateway museum, reaching multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, and educational programs, using interactive technologies to engage and empower our visitors.  At EMP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the popular culture of our time.

EMP is housed in a 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building. This spectacular, prominently visible structure has the presence of a monumental sculpture set amid the backdrop of the Seattle Center.

Current Exhibitions at EMP

Martin Schoeller: Close Up
Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic
Hear My Train a Comin’: Hendrix Hits London
Icons of Science Fiction
Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film
Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses

EMP Museum Hours

Winter Hours: September 3, 2013–May 22, 2014, 10:00am–5:00pm

Contact Info

325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109
206-770-2700, main line
206-770-2702, box office
1-877-367-7361, toll-free

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