Friday, August 10, 2012

New Maine Arts Commission Director Announced

Julie Richard has been appointed as the new director of the Maine Arts Commission. We are all looking forward to working with such a talented person. She will assume her position on September 4.

Throughout her more than 25-year career in arts administration, Richard has held positions with increasing leadership responsibilities. She leaves her position as president and CEO of the West Valley Arts Council in Phoenix, Arizona after successfully initiating an extensive cultural planning process in the region, and introducing several successful programs and partnerships in all artistic fields. Prior to her eight years in Arizona, Richard directed the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Tulsa Opera in Oklahoma. Before that she served as development director at the Syracuse Opera in New York, where later she became director.

“Julie Richard brings a record of strong leadership to the Maine Arts Commission that will further its commitment to Maine’s artists, arts organizations and arts educators,” said Charles Stanhope, chairman of the Maine Arts Commission. “The commission members and staff look forward to working with her to sustain, strengthen and expand the vital creative investment that the arts in Maine are making in our daily lives, and in the state's economy.”

Throughout her career Richard has advocated for artists, created lasting partnerships, developed innovative and essential programming, championed the cause of arts education, and increased funding. While leading the West Valley Arts Council, Richard worked closely with local legislature in order to: create an arts education partnership for professional development; open galleries; create essential grant programs; create an artist communication network; expand public art programs and create a performing arts series. At the Metropolitan Arts Council she increased financial support for artists fivefold and secured a $2.1 million grant for arts education partnerships.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Maine Arts Commission as their new executive director,” said Richard. “Maine’s vibrant artist community, many festivals and wonderful arts organizations are respected throughout the country. I am impressed by the level and impact of the support to the arts sector by Maine’s elected officials and I am eager to get to know everyone involved in the arts around the state. “The Maine Arts Commission has been a leader in implementing many cutting edge philosophies and programs over the years. I am anxious to be a part of such a vibrant and well-respected organization and look forward to taking it to the next level.”

Richard received her Arts Administration from the University of Wisconsin and studied leadership at Harvard University. She has written and presented numerous papers on arts development, served on approximately 30 boards or councils devoted to the arts, and has received multiple honors for her devotion to the arts.

Listen to an interview with Julie below:

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