Allegany Arts Council Welcomes New Executive Director PDF Print E-mail
Arts and Leisure - Arts and Leisure
Written by Desiree Bullard   
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 09:39

WestenCUMBERLAND, MARYLAND – The Allegany Arts Council, its Board of Directors, and staff are pleased to announce that Julie Westendorff has been named Executive Director of the organization. Westendorff brings a wealth of non-profit association management experience, having served several D.C. based membership organizations as their Administrator. Her enthusiasm, strong organizational background, and commitment to the community make her a great fit to lead the AAC and promote its vision of cultivating the arts and enriching the quality of life in our community. She will continue the strong tradition of arts education and children’s programs through collaboration with the county library and other community partners.

 

Board of Directors President, Tama Scarpelli, said Westendorff “has the skill set and community understanding that we need to pursue our goals of increasing awareness and access to the arts, and providing a supportive environment in which local artists and arts organizations can thrive. Julie recognizes the economic impact a strong arts presence has on the overall health and wellbeing of a community, and I know she will work hard to promote that message”.

Westendorff and her family began looking to move to a smaller community after spending more than 15 years in the D.C. metro area, where she missed having community involvement. Says Westendorff, “After 15 years spending my life in a car, I realized how much of it was devoted to things which gave me no joy and no purpose – I wanted to reclaim that time and use it in a productive way, helping others and using my skills and experiences to benefit my community. We feel so grateful to be given the opportunity to join this community and the reception has been everything we imagined.”

 

Further, she adds, “I grew up in western Kentucky, just a stone’s throw from Appalachia – and I understand some of the challenges we face here in Allegany County. But, I believe we have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, and the Arts Council plays an important part in that effort. Whether we realize it or not, we are surrounded by art, and we want to make it accessible for everyone. I am excited to lead the Allegany Arts Council and continue the great work that so many dedicated leaders, volunteers and local artists have already begun.” Westendorff comes from a background primarily in non profit management and event planning, but her experiences have varied widely, something she credits in her success. Having managed the travel and logistics for both former President George W. Bush and former Governor Sarah Palin, managing domestic and international conferences for the group tasked with creating worldwide color palettes, and her early work with the Edison Electric Institute, she says each of these experiences has built on and given her a broaderplatform. “I cannot wait to bring what I have learned to the AAC and work with such an outstanding group of dedicated people.” Westendorff is taking the helm from retiring Executive Director, Chris Sloan, and will begin her role in January 2018.

 
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