Vail Valley Foundation announces Sarah Johnson as senior VP of education and arts |

Vail Valley Foundation announces Sarah Johnson as senior VP of education and arts

Johnson comes to the Vail Valley Foundation after five years at Vail Mountain School

Daily staff report
Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson has been named senior vice president of education and the arts for the Vail Valley Foundation, a new position both for the organization and Johnson.

“We are extremely pleased to have Sarah join our team, and she is already proving to be an effective and thoughtful leader,” Mike Imhof, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, said in a news release. “Sarah’s background is a perfect match for this new position, and her experience, insights and wisdom will allow our organization to continue to flourish.”

Johnson comes to the Vail Valley Foundation after five years at Vail Mountain School, where she most recently served as the director of advancement and community engagement. Johnson’s experience at Vail Mountain School is only one aspect of a career that runs deep in education, the arts and law as well: she was general counsel and director of risk management for Augustana College, and has her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and her undergraduate degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University. During and after college, Johnson worked in education both professionally, in service on several nonprofit boards and as a volunteer throughout her career.

Her passion for arts is equally long-lived. She has been an active member of the Vail Dance Festival committee and has been a pioneering leader for young people and the arts throughout her life, including taking leadership roles in dance programming for Vail Valley youth.

“The Vail Valley Foundation is entirely unique in its ability to provide such a wide array of programs, events and services to our community, and I am excited to join this phenomenal team in pursuing the organization’s mission,” Johnson said. “The Vail Valley Foundation does an excellent job finding ways to unify its arts and education missions — S.T.A.R.S. at the VPAC, Master Classes with the Vail Dance Festival and more — I look forward to working with current programming and exploring new and innovative ways to engage both year-round residents and visitors to the Vail Valley.”

Johnson’s first day in the position was Feb. 28. Among her first major tasks will be the appointment of a new executive director of education to lead the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365, and the appointment of a director of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, which is set to begin its summer season this June. Johnson will also oversee the Vilar Performing Arts Center, which is led by executive director Duncan Horner; as well as the Vail Dance Festival, led by artistic director Damien Woetzel.

Johnson grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Bettendorf, Iowa. She now lives in East Vail with her husband, Tait, and their two children, Grace and Drew.

To learn more about the Vail Valley Foundation activities and events visit

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