state arts action network
Dan Hunter is the executive director of the Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities (MAASH & MAASH-Ed), a statewide advocacy and education group. An award-winning playwright, songwriter, and humorist, Mr. Hunter also has 17 years’ experience in politics and arts advocacy, having served as director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (a cabinet appointment requiring Senate confirmation) and having run a successful advertising and political consultancy firm in Des Moines.
Mr. Hunter is the author of two books, Let’s Keep Des Moines a Private Joke and The Search for Iowa (& We Don’t Grow Potatoes). He has written several plays including Un Tango en La Noche and La Mujer Sin Cara (The Woman without a Face). His play The Monkey King was recently named a finalist for the 2004 Heideman Award from the Actors Theatre of Louisville. He is the composer and writer of Picture Postcard Musicale, based on the texts of picture postcards from 1906–1910. He has performed a one-man show of topical humor in original song and has appeares on numerous radio and television programs, including ABC’s Good Morning America, National Public Radio, BBC, and CNN Nightly News.
Mr. Hunter was managing director of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at Boston University (1999–2002) and teaches creating writing at Boston University. He previously served in the Iowa State Governor’s cabinet as director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. On his departure, the Des Moines Register wrote in an editorial:
“[Hunter] instilled a renewed vigor in a neglected area of state government. He made people think about art as a way of life…He was able to hopscotch across the state with a message, not from a bureaucrat, but from someone intimately involved with the arts, someone who understands the nuances of the arts community and of those who support the arts.”
From 1980 to 1997, he owned and operated Dan Hunter Creative Services. Mr. Hunter earned his B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and his M.A. from Boston University.