Meet Karen Chachkes, our new Director of Development

Karen has lived on the Island long enough to remember beverage service on the p.o. boat and Islewilde at the outdoor gym.

Karen served as Business Manager and later Publisher of JT Media, Washington’s only print and digital newspaper of Jewish interest, before transitioning to serve as Director of Public Affairs at the Holocaust Center for Humanity. Karen’s tenure at the Holocaust Center spanned two capital campaigns, making the Center a destination for thousands of students annually, and expanded traveling programs and training workshops designed to teach tolerance throughout the Northwest.

Karen serves on the board of Vashon’s Journeymen Institute and volunteers at the food bank. She has served on the UMO Ensemble and Lacrosse Club boards on Vashon, the board of NARAL’s Washington affiliate, and on the American Jewish Press Association board. In 2016 Karen received the prestigious Pamela Wechter award for community service, and she has procured more donations for Island auctions than she can count.

“Joining the team at Open Space for Arts and Community enriches and expands my life,” says Karen, who is inspired by the scope of creative and community work that takes place on the Open Space campus. Karen is eager to share stories of the magic taking place – both practical and fanciful. If you haven’t connected yet, ping her at to say hello and let her know why Open Space matters to you.


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