Washington State Arts Commission's Executive Director Kris Tucker has announced she will step down effective January 2014.

First appointed in 1999 by then-Governor Gary Locke, Tucker has led the agency through some of the state's best economic times-and the worst.

“Kris has been a tremendous force in moving the arts forward statewide,” said board president Cindy Finnie, from Port Townsend. “She has seen us through some tenuous times while simultaneously raising the profile of our agency to the national level.

Tucker told the 23-member Board of Commissioners that the agency is now well-positioned for a leadership transition.

According to state statute, the Commission leads the search process to recommend three candidates to the Governor. The Governor then selects the next director.

The Washington State Legislature acknowledged the public value of the arts in 1961 by establishing the Washington State Arts Commission, now called ArtsWA. For more information about ArtsWA, visit the website.