Tara Tuomaala Joins Erb Family Foundation as Program Officer

Tara Tuomaala Joins Erb Family Foundation as Program Officer

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation is pleased to welcome Tara Tuomaala as a program officer, with a role to guide its extensive Detroit-area arts and culture initiatives.


Tuomaala has degrees from the University of Michigan and Columbia University, as well as 20 years of experience with nonprofit organizations in New York and Detroit.

“Tara Tuomaala’s rich experience and deep understanding of the arts world will be a tremendous asset in extending the impact of the Foundation,” said Dr. Neil C. Hawkins, Erb Family Foundation president. “We are striving to make a real difference in the community, and Tara is the right person to continue that legacy.”

Fred and Barbara Erb created the Foundation in 2009 as part of a longtime commitment to community well-being. The Foundation is dedicated to advancing an environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant metropolitan Detroit and a flourishing Great Lakes ecosystem.

As program officer, Tuomaala will be the primary contact for the Foundation’s Anchor Arts and Jazz Education programs. The Foundation provides flexible funding to select arts and cultural organizations, supports improved business models that increase the capacity and impact of those organizations and invests in holistic efforts that strengthen the field. Additionally, the Foundation supports a continuation of Detroit’s strong jazz tradition by supporting efforts to provide and improve jazz instruction for musically talented, economically challenged youth.

Tuomaala earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Arts Administration from Columbia University. She joins the Erb Family Foundation after working at Living Arts, an arts education and youth development organization based in Southwest Detroit, as Director of Development. Tuomaala also has experience working with a diverse group of cultural organizations, including the Detroit Waldorf School, the Detroit Zoological Society, The Jewish Museum of New York, and American Ballet Theatre.

Tuomaala assumes her new role on Jan. 4, 2021, taking over for Sigal Hemy, who served as program officer from January 2017 to September 2020.