ArtsQuest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert Awarded the Priscilla Payne Hurd Award

Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley, PA., April 19, 2024 – ArtsQuest’s President and CEO Kassie Hilgert has been recognized by the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce with the Priscilla Payne Hurd Award. Established in 1996, the Priscilla Payne Hurd Award recognizes the impact and influence of an individual on the enhancement of life in the Bethlehem community through the arts, education or health care.

With three decades of experience in marketing, development, corporate communications, government and community relations, Hilgert’s strong leadership skills and intense devotion to the renaissance of Bethlehem’s communities is commendable. Hilgert has been with ArtsQuest since 2008, starting as the organization’s Vice President of Advancement before being promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advancement in 2010. In July 2014, Hilgert was unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees to be ArtsQuest’s second President and CEO. The community is looking forward to the construction of the new ArtsQuest Cultural Center; a plan that Hilgert, her team, state and local representatives and the public have been developing.

Listed in publications like Indulge Lehigh Valley, The Elucidator, Pollstar, Arts LINK, American Way and more, Hilgert has been described as “as approachable as she is proficient in strategic communications.” Others have said that her “disarming personality” makes doing business with her more fun than work.

Hilgert currently serves on several nonprofit boards and committees in the region including Discover Lehigh Valley Executive Board of Directors, the PNC Bank Regional Advisory Board and the Lehigh Valley Partnership Board of Directors. She has also previously served on the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation Executive Board of Trustees, the Boy Scouts Minsi Trails Council Executive Board of Trustees, the Children’s Home of Easton and Good Shepherd Board of Trustees.

“Knowing I am in the company of the previous recipients is an incredible honor and a dream come true,” says Hilgert when surprised with the news that she will be receiving this award. “I accept this award on behalf of my colleagues, our volunteers, members and sponsors. Without them, ArtsQuest and our programs and events would not be what they are.”

The Bethlehem Chamber Annual Awards Reception will be held at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem on May 16, 2024. This is a night to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Chamber members and the Bethlehem community and to honor outstanding businesses and individuals who make Bethlehem a vibrant and thriving place.

About ArtsQuest

ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events.

Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, over 50% of which are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region.

Information provided to TVL by:
Bryn Keeney