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Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: May 4, 2021

Springfield Art Museum Announces Appointment of Museum Affairs Officer for Development & Fundraising

Headshot of Kate Francis featuring a smiling woman with a gray sweater.


Springfield, MO. (May 4, 2021) – The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Kate Francis as Museum Affairs Officer for Development and Fundraising. Effective June 7, 2021, Francis will lead the Museum’s expanding annual fundraising efforts as a key member of the leadership team. In addition, Francis will work closely with the newly-created Springfield Art Museum Foundation, which aims - among other things - to complete funding for the Museum’s ambitious 30-Year Master Plan, already underway on the Museum’s grounds.

A seasoned non-profit fundraiser with over two decades of arts administration experience, Francis previously served as Chief Development Officer for The Phoenix Symphony. Her professional career is marked by successful roles with increasing responsibility as Vice President for Development for the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, Director of Development and Marketing for Jazz St. Louis, President and Managing Director of The Orpheum Theatre/Knox County Civic Center Authority, Director of Development for Arizona Opera, and Campaign Coordinator for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Francis graduated cum laude from Monmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a minor in English. A native Missourian, Kate was raised in the St. Louis area by a musical family. Her artistic family influenced her appreciation of and love for visual art; regularly taking her to visit the Saint Louis Art Museum from an early age. An avid traveler, Francis considers museum visits as integral to broadening one’s cultural and civic perspectives. Personally, she holds an eclectic collection of art including original works by a wide range of artists including: Rita Leff, George Platt Lynes, Sam Stang, James Thurber, and Ini Kumo.

“I am honored to join this remarkable institution that, since its inception 95 years ago as the Art Study Club, has been a leading creative and cultural influence in Springfield, southwest Missouri, and beyond. The opportunities for the Museum’s continued growth are abundant; and I am proud and excited to join an outstanding team, dedicated volunteers, and devoted community members that will propel the Museum into its second century of artistic excellence.”

Museum Director Nick Nelson adds, “We are so excited to have Kate join our team. She has an incredible depth and breadth of experience in the field. I look forward to seeing the impact of her work and leadership on our Museum and our community.”  

The Museum Affairs Officer for Development and Fundraising is a new position that aligns with the Museum’s current strategic plan which focuses the Museum’s marketing and fundraising efforts across two positions: Audience Development and Development and Fundraising. To date, joint marketing and development efforts have helped the Museum attain record annual fundraising results and successful accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The Springfield Art Museum is one of only 18 AAM accredited museums in Missouri and the only one in southern Missouri.

The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.


The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit or contact Joshua Best, Museum Affairs Officer at (417) 874-2859 or

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