Mac Howison has recently been announced as the new program officer for Creative Learning at the Heinz Endowments. This newly created position displays the Endowment’s new emphasis on ensuring that children and youth have access to the benefits of creative learning environments in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. Howison comes to the Heinz Endowments from the Sprout Fund where he served as the senior program officer for Catalytic Funding for six years, leading Sprout’s grantmaking portfolio of over 700 projects and administering investments of over $5 million. Prior to that position, he did very similar work for over seven years as Sprout’s funding programs manager. Howison is also a former educator, having worked at the Carnegie Museum of Art for four years creating neighborhood outreach and art class program curriculum for elementary school students and teaching children at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University, graduating in 1995 before beginning his career in 1997 at the East End Food Co-Op in Pittsburgh. Howison ended up working there for nearly seven years, becoming the front end manager and then general manager. It was during this time that he also worked at the Carnegie Museum of Art as an educator.
Howison is one of only fifteen 2016 recipients of a Professionals Learning About Community, Equity, and Smart Growth (PLACES) fellowship administered by the Funder’s Network for Smart Growth and Livable Cities. “I am delighted to welcome Mac Howison to The Heinz Endowments,” said Janet Sarbaugh, the Endowments’ Vice President for Creativity in a press release. “Mac brings strong knowledge of the cultural community and grassroots grantmaking as well as valued experience and a personal dedication to creative and educational equity. He will be instrumental in building our commitment cross-programmatic grantmaking by focusing on creative learning with both the Creativity and Learning programs at the Endowments.” Mac Howison begins his new position at the Heinz Endowments effective Oct. 3, 2017.