I’ve always believed that leadership isn’t primarily about the person holding the mic or the one who is calling the shots. Leadership is about every single community member who raises their hand to solve a community need. Whether it’s through coordinating a program, teaching art in schools, finding arts-based solutions, volunteering your time, or making a donation, YOU are demonstrating leadership.
With incredible enthusiasm, I recently accepted a job with the Oregon Arts Commission in Salem as their Community Arts Coordinator. I am truly excited about my new role to build thriving communities across the state through the arts. I have worked in the nonprofit sector my entire career and I am excited to serve in state government and make a difference for arts organizations and communities across the state.
Lane Arts Council has been planning for an eventual leadership transition with the promotion of Stacey Ray to the position of Assistant Director last year. As of April 20th, Stacey will become Interim Executive Director and I have full faith and confidence in her leadership. Stacey has been part of Lane Arts Council for four years and has been supervising our programs and operations for the past few years. I am committed to supporting a successful transition, especially through this difficult time in all of our lives.
For those of you that have known me for awhile, you will know that I have grown so much personally through my work at Lane Arts Council. As a first time Executive Director, I was timid and uncertain. I was afraid I would fail. I was afraid I would make a mistake. I was afraid to speak in public.
Over the last nine years, I built confidence because you stood with me. You helped me envision new programs, build new partnerships, raise more money, and speak with passion and determination about the importance of the arts in our community. Even when the fear was there, I continued to persist, because I knew I wasn’t alone.
You joined my team and said, “Yes! let’s make a difference!” You helped a young person paint a mural for the first time, showing her that she is capable of great and beautiful things. You helped underserved community members be seen and be part of the community. You helped artists create more projects in the community for all of us to enjoy. You helped people understand that the arts are essential in our lives.
Through dozens of programs in schools and communities across the county, I am proud of the work we have done together. I will forever be grateful for your help in building a strong arts council that is an essential arts organization in our county. It’s truly been a privilege working with each and every one of you.
I know that even with my transition, you will continue to step up and say yes whenever you can. It’s an incredibly challenging time for arts organizations and artists right now. It’s truly heartbreaking and the community needs you now more than ever. The arts are part of what it is to be human, and are essential for our healing. I promise you that I will remain committed to being part of the solution, this time at the state level. We will rebuild.
I will continue to live in the area and will be your local resource and arts patron. But most of all, Lane County will forever have influenced me as someone who is stronger and more inspired than ever before. I can’t thank you enough.
So much love,
Executive Director, Lane Arts Council