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April 2011
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CityLink Seattle

In memory of Melissa Hines, devoted arts leader

UPDATE: The community is invited to celebrate the life and achievements of Melissa Hines at a public memorial service, 3 to 5 p.m., Monday, May 9 at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave.

It is with deep sorrow that we write to inform you of the loss of our beloved colleague Melissa Hines, a devoted arts champion and leader.

Melissa greeting guests at the 2006 Mayor’s Arts Awards. Photo by Chris Bennion.

For the past seven years, Melissa directed the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ funding programs and led our arts education initiative. Previously, she dedicated 23 years of her career to The Empty Space Theatre.

Melissa passed away April 8 from leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. She was 63. For nearly a year and a half, she continued working through her treatments, taking medical leave in mid-March.

Melissa’s passion, drive and willingness to freely share her expertise nurtured Seattle’s artists and arts organizations for decades. She was a powerhouse of good ideas and positive, creative energy.

In 1978, Melissa began work in the box office at The Empty Space and went on to guide the company, known for its bold and provocative productions, through 16 seasons as managing director. From 2002 to 2004, she served as director of development for the Seattle International Children’s Festival, now Giant Magnet.

At the city, Melissa streamlined our arts funding programs, increased access to the arts with focus on underserved communities, and led our arts education partnership with Seattle Public Schools. She was committed to ensuring that all students have access to an education rich in the arts.

A veteran arts administrator and devoted public servant, Melissa preferred to stay out of the spotlight, instead working tirelessly behind the scenes. She was a quiet matriarch of Seattle’s arts community. She was a mentor to many, a persuasive advocate and a faithful arts patron, with a passion for theater and a love for early music.

Melissa in Paris, April 2010.

Melissa served two, three-year terms on the King County Arts Commission from 1996 through 2001, and stayed a seventh year in 2002 to help guide the transition of the Arts Commission to 4Culture, a public development authority. She left the 4Culture board after three years. In total, she served 10 consecutive years guiding the county’s arts and culture agency—the last chair of the Arts Commission and the first chair of 4Culture.

She served on the boards of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Development Officers Association, Allied Arts and the Washington State Arts Alliance. She helped found and served on the steering committee for the Communities of Color Fund Raising Training Project (1990-1994). Her work in the arts was recognized with Theatre Puget Sound’s 2002 Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award; the Business Volunteers for the Arts’ 2000 Arts Administrator of the Year Award; the Association of Women in Communications’ 1998 Northwest Woman of Achievement Award; and the Corporate Council for the Arts’ 1994 Unsung Hero Award.

As we reflect on Melissa’s life and legacy, there aren’t words to express her impact on Seattle’s arts community. All who knew Melissa know she had a wonderful way with words! We will miss her voice, her generosity of spirit and sparkling intelligence.

We invite you to share remembrances of Melissa below. When we have information about Melissa’s service, we will post it to the blog and our website.

Sincerely,
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs staff

Comments

Comment from Dorothy Mann
Time April 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Melissa was my enduring supporter complimenting me an every step we took toward enlightening this community about the power of the arts in our lives. I can see her here and there around the community standing for what she believed in. I wish I had known her for a longer period of time. I will miss her presence and her energy.

Comment from Michael Killloren
Time April 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Though expected, this is indeed very sad news. Seattle’s arts community has lost a tireless advocate and a passionate leader.

Melissa was one of the first people I met when I arrived in Seattle. Her advice was golden. I also had the pleasure of working with her through her service on the King County Arts Commission. It was an honor to work so closely with her over the past seven years at OACA. I will miss her wisdom, her tremendous intellect, good humor and generous spirit. She was an extraordinary woman, and will be missed by many.

Comment from Sherwood Sage
Time April 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I’ve had occasion as our organization’s Grant Coordinator to talk with Melissa several times and always found her to be helpful and patient and always positive. I had no idea she was fighting cancer and am saddened to hear of her passing. She will sorely be missed by myself and I know many others as well.

Comment from Claudia Bach
Time April 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Melissa and I first worked together at the Empty Space in the late 1970s and last worked together a few months ago. It is difficult for me to imagine her as not being here among us still, quietly sharing her breadth of expertise and thoughtful insights. Her work on behalf of our cultural community and her gracious collegiality serves as an inspiration.

Comment from jim kelly
Time April 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Melissa was a great friend and colleague, generous with her time, devoted to the arts, wise beyond words. I had the privilege to work closely with in her ten years of volunteer service to KCAC and 4Culture, while she simultaneously almost single-handidly kept the Empty Space afloat. I don’t think there is a single theatre company in Seattle, large or small, that hasn’t been influenced by her work. She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.

Comment from Kathy Hsieh
Time April 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I first had the great fortune to meet Melissa when I was 23 and doing my very first show at the Empty Space. And every time since (which was quite a few as both actor and fellow managing director colleagues), she always embraced me with her all-encompassing hugs. For the past seven years I have been so blessed to have her as my co-worker and supervisor. She always made me feel like she had all the time in the world for me and that she was my greatest fan (which she did for so many). Her love and care and mentorship came through the smallest of every day gestures – genuine, thoughtful ones that truly inspired and guided so many along the way. What I loved most about Melissa was her true wonder about the world and passion about the arts that led to many deep philosophical conversations that I truly valued. I can’t even begin to express what a huge place in my heart she holds and while she’ll always be there, it won’t ever be the same without hearing her effusive words of wisdom, seeing her sparkling smile, feeling her warm hugs, and experiencing her bigger-than-life presence.

Comment from Anne McQuary
Time April 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm

This is such sad news. I haven’t seen Melissa in many years, but her presence at the Empty Space was the calm, steady ballast in the midst of the chaos that can accompany the creative process. She had such intelligence and devotion to the arts. Sending loving thoughts to those who were closest to her.

Comment from Denee McCloud
Time April 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

It was a pleasure to know Melissa and work with her on various projects. She was kind, authentic and always a pleasure to be around. I’m very sad to here this news and will miss her generosity and kindness.

Comment from Lila Hurwitz
Time April 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Melissa, you were always so supportive of us… I’ll never forget the great advice you offered at a generously long meeting years ago. I thought, you are truly dedicated!

Comment from Laurie Jerger Johnson
Time April 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Melissa was my first mentor. She hired me as a development assistant at the Empty Space in 1998 and I worked and developed my skills as a fundraiser under her tutelage. She was my boss but also a friend and mother figure for me. Once she bought me an electric toothbrush that my dentist recommended but I could not afford… just left it for me on my desk without a word. She made the best Scottish shortbread I have ever tasted and never forgot it was my favorite bringing me a tin whenever we got together. She never missed a production I was in – even if it was only a reading.

She embodied grace and kindness – was a gentle spirit with a great laugh – she was modest and humble – quick to deflect praise back to the source. My thoughts are with her sisters and with all those who were touched by her life. I will miss her.

Comment from Karen (Robertson) Bystrom
Time April 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

What an extraordinary woman. Melissa has been a role model for generations of arts administrators. She was the development director at The Empty Space when I became the PR director. I could not have had a better mentor and partner to learn how fundraising and marketing could work together.

It didn’t matter how long it had been since you’d run into Melissa; you felt like no time had passed and that your friendship simply resumed where it left off.

I was lucky enough to work with her again at the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. I was reminded once again that she was the most selfless person I’ve ever known. It was all about supporting artists and connecting our community to art.

Melissa, we will miss you. But we will never forget you.

Comment from Lisa Wood
Time April 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Fly free dear one. This place will miss a person whose passion was the Arts (Lord knows we need as many people like that as we can get) although you are free now. God bless all the ones that are nearest and dearest to you in this their time of grief. You are a true treasure of Seattle and you will be greatly missed. Fly on! Fly on!

Comment from Alissa
Time April 9, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Melissa was my advisor for a smART ventures grant application. She took so much time with me and gave me a ton od very useful feedback and encouragement. I have never met her, but I was so grateful for her time and expertise and patience, and said so to many people at the time. I’m sad to hear we’ve lost her. Sending my gratitude along to wherever she goes.

XOXOXO
Alissa

Comment from Keri Kellerman
Time April 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I will miss Melissa terribly. Her passion for the arts will live on through all the young students who participated in the amazing arts education programs that Melissa advocated so passionately and through all of us who had the good fortune to know her.

I feel honored to have known such a compassionate, dedicated, funny and strong woman and I hope we can all continue to honor her legacy by making sure that Seattle remains one of the best cities around for making, seeing and learning about art. She wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

With deepest sympathy,
Keri Kellerman

Comment from Tony Martello
Time April 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I had the distinct pleasure and honor of having a 33-year conversation and friendship with Melissa. I met her when I volunteered at Empty Space Theatre in 1978, and we kept a close relationship throughout all these years. Melissa and I spent many hours at breakfasts, lunches and dinners, discussing the events of the day, and the arts which she honored and dedicated her life to all the time. When I could no longer drive at night, Melissa always drove me home whenever I was in town for an art event. Melissa and I traveled more than once to Portland to see plays at Artists Repertory Theatre. As recently as March 2nd, Melissa attended ACT’s Donor Bash with me. I will miss her conversations and her devotion to the arts. Tony Martello

Comment from Robert Menna
Time April 10, 2011 at 7:12 am

Melissa loved and fiercely believed in people and she fought with a maternal fierceness for their creative dreams to come true. I worked with her in the 1980s at the Empty Space and was in awe of her unwavering devotion both to the arts and to the people whose lives and work she nurtured. She stayed focused on this life goal no matter how desperate the financial situation was or how quirky the people were that she was rallying. She fought the good fight – for us. How can we whose lives have been touched by her spirit and been shaped by her as a role model possibly give her the thanks she deserves?

Comment from Spider Kedelsky
Time April 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

A great champion of the arts in Seattle, Melissa’s generosity and thoughtfulness will be greatly missed by our community.

Comment from Phoebe Bosche
Time April 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

How lucky we small art organizations were to have had the warm and encouraging voice of Melissa, sometimes late on a Sunday night, urging us on to finish a huge grant application. It will be hard to imagine SAC without her. We will miss you, dear Melissa.

Comment from Paul Taub
Time April 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

Melissa was always a patient and wonderful help with all the projects of the Seattle Chamber Players. She also came as a guest to my “Career Development” class at Cornish, wonderful rapport with the students, very encouraging and warm. How lucky we were to have her as an advocate and activist.

Comment from Carol Wolfe Clay
Time April 10, 2011 at 10:12 am

I met Melissa as an Empty Space scenic designer. Later, she became part of a small advisory group to me at Seattle University Fine Arts. When I think of Melissa, I think first and foremost about her amazingly generous spirit and then I think about her deep love of the arts and her wisdom. We will miss your presence in Seattle, Melissa.

Comment from Lee Talner
Time April 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

How I will miss chatting with Melissa at the musical events that are such a part of the Seattle community. Her unyielding support for the arts, especially arts education for children, inspired so many arts organizations to continue their good work. Melissa’s kind and enthusiastic encouragement helped me in my photographic journey over the past 10 years, recording magical interactions between performing artists and children. To be counted as one of Melissa’s friends and fans was and is a privilege.

Comment from Beth Sellars
Time April 10, 2011 at 11:40 am

I am stunned to learn of Melissa’s death. I had no idea she had been ill, though I was recently aware she hadn’t been available to respond to our usual nattering technical application questions with her typical serene, calm solutions. Melissa was a tranquil professional in a world of bureaucratic stress, always present to lend passionate support and advice to arts organizations and individuals alike. She will be deeply missed.

Comment from Vivian Phillips
Time April 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I have no idea when I met Melissa. She seemed always present throughout my history within the local arts community. I do have an idea of how much I will continue to miss her. The unwavering support, guidance, encouragement and pure love she always offered is so far unmatched. When we lose a friend we love, we gain an angel we know. Melissa will forever be my arts angel.

Comment from Carl Sander
Time April 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Although I am saddened, I’m also relieved that Melissa will be at the Pearly Gates, ’cause I’m going to need help with my application.

Comment from Chad Goller-Sojourner
Time April 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

What a gracious lady, it seemed like every time we shared a space we’d make sure our paths crossed for more than a quick hello. This past November I had a staged reading of my first non-solo play, though clearly not in the best of health, Melissa donned a colorful scarf and showed up. Said she loved it, spent 10 minutes gushing to my father about how my work has enriched the City. My father, a man who due to a stroke listens much better then he speaks later repeated her words to my mother, too ill to attend. This morning upon hearing of Melissa’s transition my mother said “You mean that nice lady from the Mayor’s Office who said all those kind things to Alan about you… you know a lady from church had that type of cancer, it’s not really the getting up and going out to plays kind of cancer. She must have been a very strong and dedicated art woman to keep going out when she had every right to stay home.”

Comment from Christine O’Connor
Time April 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I first met Melissa in 1979 at a week-long FEDAPT residency at the O’Neill Center, where we were polishing our skills in fundraising for our respective theatres – hers the Empty Space, mine the Folger in DC. When I moved to Seattle fourteen years later, she welcomed me warmly into her arts community and continued the friendship as if no time at all had passed. I will treasure memories of her sly wit, her ability to speak in complete paragraphs, her extraordinary patience and her unending enthusiasm and commitment to this arts community. Godspeed, Melissa, and many thanks for all your gifts.

Comment from Bobbi McKean
Time April 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm

The loss of such a great and tireless advocate for the arts (not to mention a wonderful human being!) in Seattle is indeed sad. I loved Melissa for her honesty and her fierce devotion to the arts. She remains a model for all of us who believe in the power of the arts and its place in our society.

Comment from Mary Pat DiLeva
Time April 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I’m just so sad….I’ve had this feeling of sadness since I heard the news. Melissa was a wonderful woman; she will be missed.

Comment from Angela
Time April 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Melissa was such a kind and enthusiastic friend to so many in the arts community. Her generosity in sharing her knowledge and experience, and her genuine concern for the art makers, educators, and presenters in Seattle made working with her a pleasure indeed. I have had many delightful conversations with Melissa over the years and will miss picking up the phone to talk with her. My thoughts are with all of her friends at SOACA and throughout the city. Eternal peace, dear Melissa.

Comment from Jarrad Powell
Time April 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Melissa was amazing. So supportive, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. Every communication that came from her felt like it came from someone who really cared. She made the art world a warmer and more nurturing place to be. Peace to her. May her spirit live on in this community.

Comment from Penelope Loucas
Time April 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I am so sorry to hear of Melissa’s death; I had no idea she was so ill and haven’t been in touch with her since we worked together fundraising and writing grants for the Empty Space Theatre. I’ve never forgotten her tireless, all-hours work ethic or her gentle insistence to dot all i’s and cross all t’s. I cannot imagine the Seattle art scene without her. Melissa, I salute you, our Goddess of the Arts.

Comment from Michael Herschensohn
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

I will miss Melissa. She made me feel valued and respected what I had to say. She was an unbelievably supportive colleague. Melissa had the uncanny ability to translate her life in the trenches of not-for-profit arts management into meaningful public policy as a leader at the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Comment from Julia Colson
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:20 am

What a tremendous loss for our community. May Melissa continue to be a shining example of benevolence for all of us who are left behind.

Comment from Steve Sneed
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:34 am

I first met Melissa when I was at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center in the late 90’s. Melissa helped us develop our box office. She was generous and patient. she took time from her busy schedule to guide us through a big project. I continued working with Melissa while she was at the Office of Arts and Culture. Seattle’s Arts community has no equal. She was extremely committed to Seattle’s entire arts community, in a way that just doesn’t seem to exist anymore. God bless Melissa.

Comment from mayumi tsutakawa
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:43 am

Only one month ago, Melissa sent me this email: “As you can gather, I am finding it a little harder to be reliable these days – which I hate!” There was no end to Melissa’s devotion to not just the Arts, but to all of us working for the arts. I will not forget her support for the Ethnic Arts Connection and all her efforts for cultural democracy. My new slogan: “What Would Melissa Do?”

Comment from Shannon Stewart
Time April 11, 2011 at 10:14 am

Seattle arts community has a big void left in it with Melissa’s passing. My condolences to her loved ones and colleagues. I always felt like Melissa was a “straight shooter” and really got the trials and tribulations of arts administration and brought that to her work at OACA.

I’m relieved that she was released from her pain and hope we can carry on her legacy of straightforward support and unwavering commitment.

Comment from Fidelma McGinn
Time April 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

Goodbye dear Melissa — we will do our best to soldier on without you, and ensure that your legacy is long remembered. Rest in peace, dear lady.

Comment from Amy Nguyen
Time April 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

Melissa was a pleasure to work with. Always so supportive and helpful… Condolences to her close family and friends and I pray that she’s resting in peace.

Comment from Brian Branagan
Time April 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

I first met Melissa in the late-70s at The Empty Space–first as a volunteer and then as a development assistant. I learned so much from her about commitment and passion for the artists and the arts that has stayed with me through the decades. She was a wonderful cook and gracious host. My wife and I will miss her sense of wit and love of conversation.

Comment from Jan Maher
Time April 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

I am stunned and deeply saddened to hear this news. I have been living across the country from Seattle for several years. Melissa is someone I always expected would be there when I got back. She was just such an “always there” person.

Comment from Charlie Rathbun
Time April 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

Melissa, my Rock of Gibraltar – always rational, always reasonable, a steady hand on the tiller, always an advocate, a true collaborator, a servant leader, friend and inspiration, who knows where those ripples ever cease…

Comment from Rochelle H Flynn
Time April 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

I was the box office manager at Empty Space in the mid 80’s. Melissa was my supervisor. She was a wonderful person to know with a sophisticated wit and a an innate sense of fairness. I always thought she “reeked of integrity”. She made it a joy to come to work. She was a so solid and so warm. She will live in my heart forever.

Comment from John Osebold
Time April 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

She was always welcoming and supportive, and certainly did work tirelessly behind the scenes (probably far more than I will ever know). You are sorely missed, Melissa.

Comment from Deborah Witmer
Time April 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I met Melissa in 1988 when I first moved here from Ohio and got my first job at Empty Space; she was such a role model for me as I struggled with so much in those early days of an arts career. Our paths crossed again a few years ago, as I struggled again – this time with leading an arts organization – and again, she was right there with advice and information, and friendship. When we got together and started talking policy, 2 hours could easily fly by! So much of what is good about arts in Seattle was guided by her; we are all richer for having her in our lives and commnunity. I look forward to gathering together with those she touched to celebrate her life!

Comment from Tracey Wickersham
Time April 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Melissa was not only wise, she was kind and generous with her time and knowledge. She taught me a lot when I was first starting out in the arts field and she continued to teach and inspire me all these years later. I was always happy to see her any time our paths crossed. She exemplified passion and commitment and integrity. She leaves our community the better for her work. Thank you Melissa, rest in peace, we will miss you terribly.

Comment from Claudia Mauro
Time April 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm

This news breaks my heart. What a fine human being. Always genuinely excited, and encouraging about a good project. She made a big difference in my life. So good to read all these comments. Love you Melissa.

Comment from Lauren Weedman
Time April 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Such a force–such an amazing woman who so absolutely left the world around her changed. The support and love and the Red Vines that I got from Melissa when I started as an intern at the Empty Space was career tremendous. I am just so immensely sad that she is gone.

Comment from Steven Vroom
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

911 Media would not exist to this day without the sage advice and strong support from Melissa. We will miss her steady presence.

Comment from Cheryl Brush
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Melissa, but I do know her sister Martha. As a fellow city employee, I am saddened for the loss of a wonderful person and public servant. May her creativity and compassion live on in each of us.

Comment from Garry Owens
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Melissa and I served on the board of the Northwest Development Officers Association (NDOA) in the 1990’s. When we covened a Diversity Committee, she was one of the first board members to step up. She was a founder and staunch supporter of the Communities of Color Fundraising Training Project because she knew that racial justice had to be a key part of the fund raising industry. When DON moved from the Arctic Building to SMT 17th Floor – she was the first person to greet me and until mid March we never failed to share our appreciation for one another. I knew her health was failing, but I wanted her to know how brilliant I thought she was and I would ask her these challenging and profound questions. She never failed to engage me with her honesty, dry wit, a wee bit of sarcasm, and a smile. She reminds of the “tree of life” – a refuge, deep roots, seeds catching the wind, nuturing to all, and forever strong! I will miss that tree and hope she rests in peace!

Comment from Carol Mabbott
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I will very much miss this always kind, compassionate, and generous soul.

Comment from Rita Cipalla
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Melissa was one of the first arts administrators I met when I moved from Washington, D.C., to Seattle to start a communications consulting practice. As I worked to learn more about the area arts community, I volunteered at the Empty Space Theatre, assisting them with media outreach, promotion and publicity. She was very kind to a city newcomer, generously sharing her contacts and knowledge with me, and we stayed in touch over the years.

Comment from Darren Lay
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm

One of the most thoughtful and genuine persons to walk this earth. Melissa always made you feel recognized no matter how small, always took notice and care to appreciate your work and efforts. So full of grace and generosity, honesty, intelligence and humor. Her actions and thoughtfulness always left me feeling appreciated, inspired, heartened and ready to give more. Melissa will be deeply missed. We all will be lonelier for lack of her spirit and enormous warmth. From the kind welcome she gave at the Empty Space, to an utterly terrified 21 year old non-equity actor newly arrived in Seattle, to the last letter of recommendation she stayed up late writing at the first of this year, I will always be thankful. Her presence and example lives on in all of us she helped and encouraged.

Comment from Jenise Silva
Time April 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm

It feels like yesterday that I had my first sit down with Melissa and Eddie at The Empty Space. I was impressed with their passion and committment immediately.

After Empty Space closed I was always happy to see Melissa in the community continuing her work on behalf of the arts.

RIP Melissa Hines, Arts Advocate

Comment from Lara Littlefield
Time April 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I knew Melissa from serving on the Seattle Arts Commission and various arts projects. We had recently exchanged emails after having not been in contact for while. I didn’t know that she was ill, so this is quite a shock.

Melissa was all the things mentioned in earlier posts. She had a presence that embraced you. I found her to be warm, funny, caring and extremely thoughtful. Consistent to her character, her last email to me was filled with optimism and encouragement and not a word about her own challenges. She has left quite a legacy…

Comment from Michael Brockman
Time April 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm

WE HAVE LOST ONE OF THE GOOD ONES! Melissa was a true friend to all artists in our city. Beginning with the first time I met her, Melissa took every opportunity (via email, phone conversations & face-to-face) to let me know through the years that she whole-heatedly supported the work I do as a musician. She did everything possible to make my life and my interaction with the Mayor’s Office simple and efficient. There is no doubt that her legacy lives on in everyone she knew. She made our world a vastly better place, and we should all aspire to the same. Bravo for a life well lived! -mb

Comment from Jena Cane
Time April 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Cookies at the first rehearsal. The first at her desk and the last to leave. Big hugs and smiles at any gathering that always calmed and reassured. I’ll miss seeing her white tennis shoes walking down the aisle and her deep contributions to our community.

Comment from Cheryl dos Remedios
Time April 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Reading these messages is helpful, so I will add my own. Last Friday, I met with a friend to discuss arts education and of course Melissa’s name came up in conversation. We paused to wonder how she was doing. . . . Melissa took me on my first meeting to a legislator’s office to advocate for 4Culture becoming a PDA.. . I cannot say that I knew her well, but I respected her immensely. Her life is forever interwoven into my own experience of Seattle, because she devoted so much of herself to all of us.

Comment from Linda Bowers
Time April 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Melissa contributed so much to this community through her advocacy, friendship, and warm and unwavering commitment to people and art. Let us do something remarkable in her memory. Requiescat in pace, Melissa.

Comment from Lisa Jaret
Time April 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

It is difficult to know what to add to all of these eloquent tributes, but I want to join the chorus of appreciation for her work and her heart; her leadership and her steady support of so many artists, arts educators, and arts administrators. I met Melissa in 1992, when I did an informational interview with her, just prior to moving to Seattle. I didn’t overlap with her much for a while after that, but had the honor of working with her on several committees and projects over the past 5 years, including collaborating on an event a few months ago. I had tremendous respect for her, and I learned a lot from her. She was very kind to me. I will miss her very much, and hope that the seeds of wisdom and inspiration she planted to continue to grow in all of the people and organizations she supported.

Comment from Sibyl Barnum
Time April 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Reading these wonderful comments about Melissa’s great passion for the arts, her kind and gentle spirit, her caring and dedication and tirelessness, underscores the impact she had on the community and testifies to her legacy. Thank you Melissa. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Comment from Patricia Bradbury
Time April 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I was one of the lucky ones who got a chance to know Melissa. Every comment above is a testament to her incredible grace and generosity. There are very few like Melissa that one gets to meet in one’s life, and I feel honored and blessed to have known her. You will be so missed, by so many.

Comment from John
Time April 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Yesterday a question was answered and normally the answered question is a reason to celebrate or at least to be relieved that Ignorance has met its match temporarily. However, in this case, the question was: What makes Art possible in the modern United States? People will suggest artists themselves, obviously, working away for little material reward. Or patrons, those with wealth enough to spare some for their passions and sometimes those passions include theatre or painting or dance. The enthusiastic public, of course, why else do we do it? I have the double privilege of knowing the answer to the question and of having been the beneficiary of that answer. I also have the terrible misfortune to have been told that what, or who, makes Art possible in this country has gone from us. She was Melissa Hines, and I know that she made Art in this country possible because we will feel the lack of her drive and her determination immediately. When I first worked in theatre it was in the administration of a wonderful place by the name of The Empty Space, a legendary spot in Seattle that did what all good theatres do: tottered on the brink of extinction while producing work to make the gods weep. Partly because I was young and drank a lot the years at the Space were among the most joyous of my life. I took tickets, I swept floors, I ran the box office and then I did something truly stupid, I decided to cross the divide and become an artist, first as a dialect coach then as an actor and finally as a playwright. In all those years the rock upon which the Space survived was Melissa Hines who was the Development Director or, as I like to think of that position, beggar-in-chief. No one could write a grant the way Melissa could; no one thought so deeply about the reason theatre mattered to a community; no one made a potential patron understand why his or her donation mattered the way Melissa did.

She was much more than a grant writer and an intellectual presence. She baked cookies for the crew on all-nighters as opening approached, she hammered scenery, she swept the lobby, she changed light bulbs that were blown, she was always the last to leave and the first there. While I was faceless in the bar across the street (oh, the Comet, how I loved you) Melissa was tapping away at the very first of what were then known as word processors, the Selectric reserved for fancy letters, not quite obsolete but headed the way of the fountain pen. I rarely saw her flustered, almost never heard an angry word from her. This may have had something to do with her drinking prodigious amounts of coffee. I mean chain drinking coffee. When it was discovered that the Empty Space spent more money on coffee than on new play development I remember thinking, well, that’s Melissa dealt with but what is everyone else drinking? I do remember once when she finally demanded that her vast array of responsibilities be acknowledged in some way. Theatre has a simple way of rewarding people: there is never any money and so a new title has to be invented. This explains the vast number of associate thises and assistant thats. The managing director of the theatre, a great friend, couldn’t believe that even Melissa Hines was complaining, surely this was the end of civilization as we knew it? I suggested that Melissa be given the title, “Melissa Hines: Genghis Khan, Ruler of the Mongol Hordes”. He put this to Melissa, she laughed and left it at that. There was, though, more than a touch of respect in my suggestion because no one I knew then or have known since has ever done as much for the likes of me as Melissa Hines. My various jobs in theatre were subsidized by the money she raised, various buildings in which I worked were rebuilt and paid for by patrons persuaded to give by her dedication and relentlessness. She eventually took over the management of the Space and, in spaces around Seattle, the theatre continued to produce very fine work and I was lucky enough to be in a couple of productions under her leadership. There were still cookies being baked, Melissa still wielded a broom on occasion despite her having the title she had wanted and fully deserved. In her spare time (ha!) she translated and adapted Moliere and saw her work produced. Now, like the Empty Space Theatre, she is gone and our world is smaller and darker and more pedestrian than it was. I shall raise a glass in the Comet Tavern when next I am in Seattle and remember that once that glass was filled with beer partly paid for by Melissa Hines.

Comment from Martha Hines
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm

It is with awe that I read each of these posts regarding my beloved sister, Melissa. She is one of the two lovely sisters that I was blessed to share these past 61 years with. I am profoundly sad that my days with her on earth are over. Each of your posts has touched me deeply and I find I get to know her in ways I could not have known her otherwise. I am grateful for every word. With many thanks… Write on!

Comment from Sherianne Caldwell
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I worked at the Space from 1978 to 1983, first as a volunteer and then running the box office and concessions. Melissa and Burke WERE the space and she will be deeply missed.

Comment from Kathleen Allen
Time April 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I felt honored to have the chance to work with Melissa. She was an incredibly intelligent, inquistive and kind person. She seemed to always want what was best for everyone. In her work with the Seattle Public Schools partnership, she truly had the mindset of “it is all about the kids.” This is a great loss to Seattle’s arts and arts education communities.

Comment from Marcie Stone
Time April 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm

The ripples that Charlie Rathbun speaks of in his tribute posted above are Melissa’s legacy and the best way for the community to remember her will be to make sure that they continue to spread. Although no one of us will be able to match her accomplishments, grace, generosity and Melissa-ness, we can keep her work alive through our individual efforts. I met Melissa only three years ago in conjunction with her work with the arts programs in the Seattle Public Schools, but I immediately felt as if I had known her for years and I came to depend on her for a periodic sanity check and a good long chat about everything in general. I’ll miss those talks and just knowing that she was in the world, and was making it a more welcoming place for the things that are really important.

Comment from Brook Ellingwood
Time April 12, 2011 at 12:42 am

After the last season in its Pioneer Square location, there was a time when I was the only staff member at The Empty Space Theatre still getting paid. The theatre had been sublet for a short run and the terms included money for someone to open and close the house for each performance. Every night I sat in the booth watching the show and having strange conversations with the show’s Russian touring technicians. Every Friday I went to the Empty Space offices and Melissa Hines gave me the only paycheck in the desk drawer.

The Empty Space had, for all intents and purposes, completely ceased to exist. Yet Melissa was still there, drawing no salary, taking care of it. I didn’t appreciate how much she was taking care of it until a couple months after I picked up my last check when I got a phone call. The Empty Space had been revived and was moving to a new building in Fremont. If I still wanted my job, it would be my opportunity to put my stamp on the next chapter of an essential part of Seattle’s art story. I took the job and relished the next couple seasons of a rejuvenated theatre.

My story is just one story of what Melissa gave to Seattle. There are so many of us who did things to be proud of because she made it possible to do them. I’m at least of couple of careers removed from my theatre days, but I’ve always known that who I am now was shaped by them, and they in turn were shaped indelibly by Melissa Hines.

Melissa stayed behind the scenes, always making it possible for others to pursue their opportunities, to make art, and present it to a city that doesn’t always appreciate how much it gains from it. Communities create and recreate themselves through stories, and when the tellers of stories are supported by a tireless worker like Melissa, the communities become better places. In my time working with her, I saw Melissa as someone who could lead from behind the curtain, or perhaps even from behind the people behind the curtain. I learned from her that very often that’s where the real leadership that matters is. I learned not to confuse showmanship for leadership. It’s a lesson that has served me well in my life outside the theatre. I will always be grateful to Melissa for setting a fine example, for being kind, and for helping make sure our tellers of stories had a chance to be heard.

Comment from Maria Glanz
Time April 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I just read this news a moment ago – what a loss for us all. I cannot match the eloquence of all the comments above. I am so sad. Seattle, and the world, is darker now. I hope and trust Melissa knew what she meant to us all.

Comment from Elaine Spencer
Time April 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Melissa was a force of nature. She defined “indomitable,” and for her to be gone is too clear proof that we are all on a one-way street.

Many will comment on her unfailing graciousness, and her fierce devotion not only to art but to the well-being of those around her. In many years of working with her at The Empty Space, probably the thing she most taught me was the power of passion, tenacity and determination, even when it is exercised in the absence of other resources.

Melissa’s passion was the most ephemeral of arts. When a play closes, it is gone for ever. And yet its influence continues with those whose souls have been touched by the performance. So, Melissa’s spirit will continue in the many people she nurtured and mentored.

Comment from Carri Campbell
Time April 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Melissa was a dear friend and colleague and I am deeply saddened by her death. She was an embodiment of what public service can be at its best. She was unwavering in her commitment to the arts in our community and worked tirelessly to ensure that that all students, artists, and arts organizations felt valued and supported. Her dedication was perhaps most evident when her illness began to intensify.

She was one of those rare people who didn’t seek public credit and affirmation for her diligent work that was so foundational to countless arts organizations and projects in our community. When it came time for accolades, she was genuinely happy to step back and enjoyed watching the people, organizations, and art she had devoted her life to blossom. Melissa was an inspiration to so many of us, teaching and challenging us to be better than we are. I feel really blessed to have worked so closely with her these past four years. I will miss her tremendously.

Comment from Kris Jones
Time April 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Count mine among the many hearts touched by the wonders of Melissa. I was a young pup when first our paths crossed in the late 70s at The Empty Space (long live The Comet), and her warmth and grace shaped that space just as Melissa’s legacy will continue to shape the Seattle Arts scene and all who were fortunate enough to know her. Thank you, Melissa!!

Comment from Alan Harrison
Time April 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm

My life in the theater was put into focus by Melissa Hines. In her clear, comfortable view of the world, there was simply no reason that an arts organization could not succeed, as long as its vision was specific, differentiated, and bold. She was a brilliant woman of complete grace and honesty. I miss her, as do we all, and I feel fortunate to be among those she knew and touched, even though the number of people that describes probably falls into the thousands. We should all be as calm and collected as she. Melissa, thank you for everything you are. We’ll keep the machinery going for you.

Comment from Kerry Burg
Time April 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I’m missing Melissa. I first met her years ago – she needed a poster designed for the play Etta Jenks and our graphic design group at NBBJ needed a creative outlet. That first poster led to more posters, more plays, and more time with Melissa – a gentle critic, a warm and wise woman and a tireless advocate for the Empty Space Theatre. She talked me into serving on the Board too – she was that charming – and she mentored my fledgling efforts at philanthropy. Remembering her is like getting one of her great big hugs again…all the while I’m missing Melissa.

Comment from Ben
Time April 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm

The first moment I met Melissa, she told me she was looking for a marketing director and a partner, and I told her, if I lived through the cancer I was fighting, I’d jump at the chance to be part of her team. And what an honor it was! What followed were some of the best years of my life. Melissa turned out to be not only the best boss I ever worked for, but a better friend. In her most caring and patient way, she taught me much that I didn’t know about the arts, as well as the real business of a non-profit. She rightfully scolded me when I said that all her fund-raising efforts seemed like so much begging. Her response, “We are part of the fabric and soul of this landscape and patrons and donors will provide as they seek to nourish their souls – or not.” I was humiliated by my own negative and simple thoughts, and never again considered “development work” drudgery. Melissa also showed me with her love, caring and dedication – for which I am most grateful! When I brought my young daughter to work, Melissa jumped in to help and created a life-long connection between the two. When I left the Space to care for my father, she was my first supporter and called or visited often, creating a relationship with a lonely sick man. When she left the Space and was offered a job that she didn’t think fit her, Melissa called me and then convinced that Board I was the person for the job. When trouble times came, Melissa was the first to call, quick to support, deliberate with letters to present my side of the story. I will never forget our dinners, her birthday cards and homemade goodies for the holidays. Melissa wanted nothing in return. She never sought or needed the spotlight. She begged off of gifts, but how could I (and all of us) not at least try to repay her every kindness? Melissa was what humankind should be – what (we wish) we all strive to be. The woman gave and gave (as you can see from all these comments) and we accepted her gifts and shook our heads in wonderment. Always supportive and understanding, she never even spoke out when her precious Space was taken away from her by the unconscionable actions of another. Near the end she finally bestowed upon me the opportunity to give her a gift – letting me program her i-Pod to get her through the hard days of treatment. I play those same songs today at work and think of Melissa. Thanks for the memories. You were (always)what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Comment from Tom Mara, KEXP
Time April 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

What a champion. What a source for wisdom. What a force of encouragement. What a difference she made.

I join my staff in navigating through the grief of losing Melissa while, at the same time, expressing our gratitude for Melissa’s positive impact on our public radio station. While it certainly didn’t appear on any ledgers, the value of Melissa’s encouraging consultations with me and our team more than nudged us toward becoming a more impactful arts organization. A great loss, yet she leaves behind so many gifts. For that, we are so very thankful.

Comment from Catherine Hillenbrand
Time April 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Arts leader sounds so dry and euphemistic! Melissa was there at the Empty Space when I was at the Comet and Melissa was there when I served on the Seattle Arts Commission. And she was there all those years in between: determined, dedicated, discreet, professional, smart, appreciative and gentle – part of the superglue holding together Seattle’s exuberant and delicate arts community. Melissa, I didn’t realize how ill you were – Thank You and Farewell.

Comment from Mike Eagan
Time April 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm

What a wonderful woman, an inspiring arts lover and friend to so many. It was so wonderful to know her. She was truly a believer.

Comment from Daniel Mayer
Time April 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Melissa was one of a kind and I am deeply saddened to hear of her passing. She took art very seriously and challenged everyone she worked with to rise to the standard that she set for her work ethic and dedication to the arts.
We would meet at the Frye Museum near her home and wander through the exhibit and then adjourn to the cafe and talk about arts policy for hours–usually until the cafe closed. She was a unique and wonderful woman and I will miss her.

Comment from Steve Lerian
Time April 13, 2011 at 12:28 am

It’s really overwhelming to read all of the accolades and fitting, heartfelt tributes to Melissa. I feel so honored to have been her colleague and compatriot for so many years.

Serving as her Vice Chair for five years when she was Chair of the King County Arts Commission helped me appreciate the true magnificence of her wisdom, her kindness and her passion, not just for the arts, but for people. Melissa understood people and cared so much about what others thought and felt.

We fought many wars together, not just battles, but whole wars, many of which are still in progress. I know she is at peace with all she has done, but I’m sure she misses mixing it up with legislators and council members and those who might deign to minimize the great work she undertook. She was fearsome and brilliant and I will miss her so much.

Though I have been gone for several years, I am so glad we stayed close through correspondence. It is so much like her that, even when things were heading downhill for her over the past year, she was invariably more concerned about how I was and what I was doing than in answering my queries about her and her health, always wanting to reassure me that she was doing well and getting better so that I wouldn’t worry about her.

Melissa was my friend and I just wish we had not canceled so many lunches and coffees along the way because we were too busy. Just one more chance to share a little time with her would be a great gift.

Comment from Carolyn Law
Time April 13, 2011 at 8:11 am

Melissa’s heart and mind were among the fullest and most balanced I have known. Because of that balance, she had the rare ability to reach out in a simultaneously simple and complex way that rippled amazingly far into our community. Yet she was always right there with you. I now realize that I rested in knowing that she was here, at work, on our behalf. I will miss her. We will miss her.

Comment from Daniel Windham
Time April 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

The priveledge of working at a national foundation such as Wallace is in meeting the many passionate and committed people who create the constellation of experiences collectively known as the arts sector. Mellisa’s voice – a clear contralto – gave possibility to the hope that the lives of people – children and adults – could be improved through their greater engagement in the arts. We shall miss her good counsel and clear vision.

Comment from Goodwin Deacon
Time April 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I met Melissa when I first arrived in Seattle in the summer of 1980. I was angling for a job in arts administration, and visited Melissa at the Empty Space to offer to volunteer. I remember she said, “Wow–a volunteer with a resumé!” That made me feel good. Later, when I was working for Seattle Opera, Melissa and I served together on an Allied Arts Committee. More recently, I’ve seen her at many Early Music Guild concerts, and she’s been very helpful with OACA grant proposals. Melissa was always such a solid, cheerful, helpful, encouraging person. I hadn’t known about her cancer, so I was really shocked by this news. We’ll all miss her a lot.

Comment from Lynn McMillan
Time April 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Melissa was a true friend to the Seattle Chinese musicians.

Comment from Jan
Time April 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Melissa was the definition of generosity and compassion. She provided me and many others with support, encouragement, and perspective even while she faced tremendous difficulties. The shear breadth of comments from every arts discipline attests to her reach and how very much she will be missed!

Comment from Adam Greenfield
Time April 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

In the summer of 1997, just after I graduated from acting school, I moved to Seattle hoping that it might be a home. On a Saturday morning, early, I stumbled past The Empty Space and was surprised to find the front door open. Up the steps, the office door was open, and I met Melissa Hines (who, naturally, was working on a weekend). When I asked if The Empty Space was hiring any interns, she set her pen down, pushed her glasses to her forehead, and spent the next two hours with me, showing a prospective intern in a dirty t-shirt all around the building, narrating the already-epic history of Empty Space, giving me a primer on Seattle theater, and actually seeming interested in my 22-year-old opinions. It was a generosity that made me feel like I could make Seattle a home. I wound up staying at Empty Space for ten seasons, having the honor of working alongside Melissa for many of those years. She never ceased to stick her neck out for her staff, encouraging the best work from every one of us, giving each of us the room and the reason to fall in love with the Space just as she had when she first began working there in the box office. Melissa gave me the inspiration, values and tools to make the advocacy for new writing and pioneering theater a lifetime commitment. The open-heartedness and total dedication to artists that she brought to every day’s work has remained a profound inspiration, practically a treatise on how to walk upright. And I’m struck, as I write this, by the fact that this little story of our impromptu meeting on a Saturday morning is just one in a lifetime. No doubt the number of people she impacted similarly is exponential. But nowhere near as far-reaching as the million tiny day-to-day decisions made by anyone lucky enough to have been in her orbit — decisions which might reflect the perfect, uncomplicated kindness of a woman who gave a kid just out of acting school two hours of her life on a Saturday when she had so much more to do.

Comment from Pete Gasparrelli
Time April 14, 2011 at 9:53 am

What a tribute to an amazing women… These posted messages say it all. Melissa was a real treasure and she touched so many lives.

For those of us who had a chance to meet and benefit from her dedicated service, she will always be remembered as a very special, talented, and caring person. But there are countless others who continue to benefit from the results of her work as she provided the kind of leadership that is too rare indeed.

Thank you Melissa.

Comment from Joe Smoke
Time April 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Last year at the national Grantmakers in the Arts Conference, I presented Melissa on a panel called Success in the City. Although it was clear that her body-energy was low, her mind was overflowing with past wisdom and strategic thinking. And her eyes. They still radiated that deep dedication to giving Seattle artists, residents and cultural tourists the best possible resources! The City of Seattle was indeed lucky to have such a dedicated champion.

Comment from Kay Kirkpatrick
Time April 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

What a loss. Even while ill she brought a kind and humane voice and came to the aid of artists concerned about the loss of their working space at the 619 building, offering support as other agencies struggled to resolve the building’s fate in the path of the deep bore tunnel project.

Comment from Michael Harris
Time April 16, 2011 at 9:25 am

Melissa raised the bar professionally and personally. What a generous soul! She was the first theater person I met on arrival in 1979 and was welcoming ever since with her natural warmth and support. The standard she set will guide all of us fortunate enough to know her.

Comment from Rebecca Denk
Time April 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Like so many of the previous remembrances, I had the amazing good fortune of having Melissa as mentor and boss in my first Development Director job at The Empty Space. I too was in my mid-20’s and knew far less than I thought I did. Melissa not only patiently taught me the ropes, but invested in my professional development through NDOA, Terry Axelrod’s courses and her own shining example. I will always be grateful for her limitless generosity, shared passion and fierce commitment to the arts.

Comment from Victor Janusz
Time April 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

What a kind woman, I thought, when I first met Melissa two decades plus-ago….Her warmth and encouragement to a 27 year old launching what would become a 7 year Non-profit Theatre group, was formidable and one-of-a-kind….I loved her attention to details, but most of all: her unwavering friendliness through the years. What a great legacy and example for all of us who love and work in the arts.

Comment from Irene Stewart
Time April 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

Melissa was committed, calm and comforting … and so much more. We worked together on the arts partnership with Seattle Public Schools — a challenge that previously took its toll on some very stalwart arts education advocates. Melissa led with great patience and, with the support of her colleagues and a small band of community activists, a partnership with the school district was born. I miss Melissa’s warmth and camaraderie most of all.

Comment from Robert Lawson
Time April 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I had the honor of working with Melissa at The Empty Space Theater (the with a capital T, and theater with an er, if you please) and then later at Seattle International Children’s Festival.

I started working at The Empty Space simply because I needed a job, but I soon became passionately invested in the company, and this had so much to do with Melissa. She brought the theater’s past, present and future – its triumphs, tribulations and potential – to everything she said and did.

My friend and co-worker, Laurie, and I would roll our eyes when Melissa referred to The Empty Space as “the little theater that could,” but Melissa was realistic about the size of the company and the role a theater that size played in the artistic and economic climate of that time.

During a time when Seattle lost several important theaters of comparable size; The Group, The Bathhouse and Alice B., The Empty Space could, and did, keep going, in no small part because of Melissa’s tenacity, unwavering commitment and measured optimism.

I know that leaving The Empty Space was very, very hard for Melissa and, frankly, it was never the same after she left. But I hope that Melissa’s ensuing endeavors with Seattle International Children’s Festival and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs were as rewarding for her personally as they were beneficial for those organizations and the artists they serve.

Melissa was, and will continue to be, an inspiration and a mentor, and she will be greatly missed. But her life was dedicated to building solid roads to allow artists and arts organizations to move forward and flourish, and I believe that we can best honor and remember her by maintaining those roads with responsibility, humility and, above all, passion.

Comment from Mary Pat Byrne
Time April 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I’m another one who met Melissa through a job at The Empty Space. I was still fairly new to Seattle and scrambling to find my place in the theatre community. Melissa was a calm center for me, as she was for so many others. For nearly 30 years our paths crossed again and again, working on regional arts issues. I marveled at and deeply appreciated her insight. Her low, calm voice is still with me. I’ll miss her great mind and heart.

Comment from Sheila Daniels
Time May 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

I honestly cannot remember when I met Melissa, because in my memory she simply was always THERE. Melissa was and will continue to be a reminder that we must fight both to preserve our artistic heritage and to blaze new trails, and that we must be leaders in our society rather than see ourselves as martyrs to it. She was an inspiration as a leader, as a woman and as a friend. She will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life.

Comment from joanne klein
Time May 7, 2011 at 12:10 am

Melissa is the kindest person i’ve ever known. She always made me feel included, creative and smart. Her titanic love of the arts, and her altruistic nature toward artists is rare. I miss her laugh, her advice, her gentleness…

Comment from Bonnie Blackley FRANCE
Time December 8, 2011 at 1:25 am

How I wish I’d looked Melissa up months ago. She was one of my first great friends when I came to the U. of Washington in Feb 1971. We lost track of one another soon after I moved to London to do my PhD, and then was hired by the U of Maryland, European Division. I hope that 2 of our other friends (or more!) will see this and contact me (I am now divorced, still have my 3 young adult children!), and have lived gain in France since 2005.
Hope to hear from Nancy Carlino and Cathy Hankins, Bruce Boris, too. George Schayler lives on Vashon or Whidbey Island. Bonnie FRANCE (Blackley)

Comment from mike
Time June 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Melissa still missing you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUyWkuTn2_w

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