Shepherd hired as Vashon Beachcomber arts editor

 - Tom Hughes photo
— image credit: Tom Hughes photo

Elizabeth Shepherd, a writer, film curator and arts publicist who has been active in bringing arts events to the Island for years, has been named The Beachcomber’s arts editor.

She fills the position held by Eric Horsting, 66, who stepped down last month after eight years at the paper.

Shepherd, 49, is the director of the children’s film program at the Northwest Film Forum, where she oversees the annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle, the Northwest’s premier annual festival of international children’s films. She plans to continue in that part-time position, while taking on the part-time editor position.

Prior to her work at the film forum, Shepherd directed the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, where she oversaw exhibits, programs, marketing and fundraising for the nonprofit alternative arts exhibition space. She was also director of an international children’s film festival in Chicago and, prior to that, edited a monthly arts publication called Chicago Artists’ News for years.

Shepherd is the mother of 9-year-old twins. She has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Oklahoma.

Leslie Brown, the paper’s editor, said Shepherd’s breadth of experience in the arts, her writing skills and her roots in the Vashon arts community make her a perfect fit for The Beachcomber. Shepherd has worked as a freelance writer for the paper for several months.

“In a community as artistically vibrant as Vashon’s, this is a remarkably important position at our paper,” Brown said. “I feel thrilled that we found someone with so much talent, experience and commitment to the arts.”

Shepherd, who has lived on Vashon 11 years, has been a board member of Vashon Allied Arts, where she served as its secretary, and was recently both a board member and on-air personality for Voice of Vashon. She has brought several music and film events to the Island, including a live-score screening of “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” and live performances by the Robbie Fulks Band, Nathan and Dallas Wayne.

Shepherd said she’s excited about taking on what she called a challenging but exciting position.

“The arts are certainly an important part of our community. To be able to document and chronicle everything that goes on here will be both a challenge and an honor,” she said.

Horsting, she added, has made the arts page an invaluable part of the paper and an important source of news for Islanders who care about the arts.

“I hope to build on the wonderful work that he did as arts editor,” Shepherd said. “I feel I’m stepping into such a strong place.”

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