Vickie Benson is arts program director for the McKnight Foundation. During her time at McKnight she’s led the program to center its work around the importance of Minnesota’s working artists and their impact on the state—artistically, socially, culturally, and economically. Working closely with her team and funding peers, she has also been instrumental in co-creating coalitions and practices that center on racial equity in grantmaking.

Benson was a member of Grantmakers in the Arts’ board of directors from 2003-2010, and in her last two years of service, she was the board president. She had also been a leader in the ArtPlace America initiative, a grantmaking collaboration of 14 national and regional foundations focused on creative placemaking. She is currently a member of the operations committee for ArtPlace.

Before joining McKnight in 2007, she was vice president of the Jerome Foundation in St. Paul, program director at Chamber Music America in New York City, and senior program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

She holds a BA in arts administration from St. Paul’s Metropolitan State University, and an MA in nonprofit management from the Hamline University Graduate School of Management. She studied music at the University of Minnesota as an undergrad. An avid advocate for artists, Benson has a background as a folk singer and guitar player.