Meet Your State Captain


Manuel Cawaling

Manuel R. Cawaling (Manny) is the Executive Director for Inspire Washington, a merger of Cultural Access Washington and Washington State Arts Alliance. Prior to this position, he spent 10 years as Executive Director for Youth Theatre Northwest, providing children on Mercer Island and throughout King County with creative education and live theatre experiences. A Seattle native, Manuel has been working professionally as an artist and cultural leader for nearly 30 years.

In 1989, Manuel was at the forefront of Seattle’s fringe theatre movement, serving as Artistic Director for Pilgrim Center for the Arts. He also served as a founding board member for Seattle's League of Fringe Theatres, the predecessor of Theatre Puget Sound and the organization credited with establishing Seattle's Fringe Theatre Festival, the first in the US. As Associate Artistic Director for the Northwest Asian American Theatre, he initiated an award-winning Youth Outreach and Education Program; conducted theatre residencies in local high schools and communities; and developed their capital campaign. As Exhibit Developer/Manager for the Wing Luke Asian Museum, he developed award winning exhibits, spearheaded outreach initiatives and led YouthCAN, a leadership program for Asian-Pacific-American youth. From 2003 to 2008, Manuel served on staff at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, initially in artistic programming and then as Managing Director, overseeing all administrative and programmatic activities.

He has served two terms on the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, was a member of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture's Public Art Advisory Committee, Chair of the Curation Committee for Gay City Arts, and President for the Washington State Arts Alliance Foundation to name a few appointments. 

Favorite Art Form: Theatre

Contact Manuel Cawaling

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