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Published on February 22, 2024
Hugo House Executive Director Diana Delgado Resigns Amid Seattle Nonprofit's Financial ChallengesSource: Hugo House

Less than one year at the wheel, Diana Delgado has decided to park her position as the executive director of Hugo House, Seattle's foremost literary arts nonprofit. The announcement came as quite a jolt to the community, considering the organization’s high hopes pinned on Delgado since she took office.

According to an email from the board president Gary Luke, acquired by The Seattle Times, Delgado's expertise was highlighted in reinvigorating in-person classes and sculpting a more robust infrastructure for the embattled Hugo House. "Diana’s invaluable skill and leadership have been an incredible asset to this organization over the past ten months, and we are deeply grateful for her time here," Luke clarified. While her last day is pegged for April Fool's, this resignation is no joke—it underscores deeper troubles at the literary hub.

The exit follows a period of tumultuous turnover and financial strain, as recounted by a report from Capitol Hill Seattle. The organization has been wrestling with monetary shortfalls, up to the point of seeing a predicted 40% drop in program revenue for 2024 compared to its 2021 peak, as previously briefed by Hugo House’s finance director to Delgado. After assuming the executive director role in May 2023, Delgado faced the arduous task of navigating the House through a financial quicksand that preceded her arrival.

Hugo House, standing firm on its own Cap Hill ground, nevertheless faces a puzzling future with financial woes and leadership gaps described by BNN Breaking as its recent backdrop. Fiscal challenges aside, Delgado was recognized for her visionary efforts to rekindle Hugo House's central role in the literary scene, a narrative that has been now truncated with her departure. Touted for her strides in re-establishing vital programs and aiming for sustainability, Delgado envisaged a turn of the page for the organization that nevertheless remains unwritten.

Hugo House, woven into the fabric of Seattle's literary scene since 1996, finds itself at yet another crossroads, continuing a legacy steeped in literary allegiance but shackled by economic uncertainty. As Delgado bids adieu, the search for a new captain to navigate the troubled waters of this beloved institution ensues, with a community watching closely, and the pages of the next chapter yet to be penned.