By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo.) Swallow Hill Music has named a new president and chief executive officer to succeed Paul Lhevine, who left the organization in November.
Aengus Finnan joins Swallow Hill after spending the last eight years as the executive director of Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, Mo. Born in Ireland, Finnan studied visual art, theater and education in Canada. He taught school in Indigenous arctic communities, spent a decade touring North America as a singer-songwriter and was the founding artistic director of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival.
“As a mission-based organization with a remarkable staff and incredible programs, there is an exciting opportunity for us to now focus on expanding our impact for the full diversity of Denver and the region while leveraging our national legacy in contemporary ways,” Finnan said.
During his tenure at Folk Alliance International, Finnan was responsible for the fiscal, operational and management oversight of a 3,000-plus member base and the organization’s annual global conference.
He doubled Folk Alliance’s annual budget, increased representation from nine to 46 countries, forged global partnerships and launched an artist-in-residence program. He also developed an international summit series, stewarded a comprehensive six-year diversity, equity, inclusion and access review and established outpost events in Australia, Ireland and Scandinavia.
Throughout his career, Finnan has fostered relationships and developed the skills to take Swallow Hill to the next level of growth, creativity and community engagement with his public leadership, strategic planning, creative thinking and community-building experience.
“On behalf of the entire Swallow Hill community, I want to share how excited we are about Aengus coming on as our new CEO,” Swallow Hill Chairman Walt Dehaven said.
“His depth of experience and leadership in the music industry on an international level lends itself exceptionally well to the work we are doing here in Colorado. This, coupled with Aengus’s passion for music education, musical expression and community engagement make him the ideal person to lead us forward.”
Swallow Hill is a Denver-based nonprofit that offers music lessons, concerts and community outreach.