Monday, July 12, 2010

A new chapter -- for me and the Arts Alliance

With this posting you'll notice a new title. I'll no longer be working as the full-time Assistant Director of the Arts Alliance, but am happy that I'll be staying connected with the Alliance - and with you - as Special Projects Coordinator.

Working as the Arts Alliance Assistant Director has been a wonderful experience for me, but I've reached a time in my life where I want to have more free time for myself. During the past year, I've met many of you in person, and have corresponded with many more of you via email. In fact, meeting and working with so many wonderful artists has stoked my own artistic imagination and caused me to rethink my life: I've come to realize that I want more time to practice my own mosaic art, and I can't do that while working full-time. I'm also planning to spend more time with my grandchildren (my third granddaughter, and fifth grandchild, was born a couple of weeks ago), and, this summer, I want to spend more time in the garden and at the lake.

In my new contract position with the Arts Alliance, I'll be focusing on - you guessed it! - special projects. First and foremost is the Arts & Health partnership that I wrote about in my last post. I'll also continue writing these eblasts on a regular basis, and tackle other projects as they come along. You can still reach me at or at 837-2275, and I hope you'll stay in touch and let me know what kinds of programs and services you'd like to see more of.

I won't be involved with the day-to-day operations of the Arts Alliance, but I will continue to take a keen interest in all of the wonderful programs the Alliance develops, coordinates and partners on - from hands-on, participatory programs and concerts at schools and community sites to workshops for teachers, artists and organizations, as well as regional initiatives (some exciting new ones are being planned for the coming year!). One of the things I like most about the Alliance is how we make possible, through partnerships with individuals, schools, businesses and organizations, an outstanding variety of opportunities for people all around our region - both locals and visitors - to participate in arts and cultural experiences.

As I move from one position to another I wanted to give you a quick review of several of the areas of the organization in which I've been most involved.

Programming is the most visible aspect of the Arts Alliance, and I've been privileged to work with many fine artists who have presented numerous workshops and performances in schools, town halls, churches, nursing homes and senior centers, as well as with the wonderful staff at these facilities who helped me schedule the presentations. Your response to our public performances and exhibits has been overwhelmingly positive, and we intend to continue bringing you the diversity of artistic and cultural opportunities that you've requested.
We know that some of you like to get your news the old-fashioned way, while others rely on your computers, and we've been working hard to improve communications across the spectrum - through regular press releases, timely updates to our website, e-blasts like this one, our ArtsNorth e-calendar, and postings on social media sites - check us out on Facebook,  and the Connections and Opportunities link on our website.

Volunteers are vitally important to any nonprofit organization, and our goal is to develop a cadre of volunteers to supplement the Arts Alliance staff. We have a hard-working board of directors who donate their time attending regular board meetings and serving on committees to help the Arts Alliance run smoothly. Many of you also donate time to hang posters, meet and greet guests at public performances, clip newspaper articles, and deliver brochures and other printed materials. Many businesses donate lodging, space for performances, and other in-kind services like electronic equipment. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available; if you'd like to help, we can find a job for you. Send an email to if you're interested in learning more.

The Arts Alliance is a membership organization. Check our website for a list of the organizational and artist members who support our mission: to promote, support and sustain culture, heritage and the arts in northern New Hampshire. You don't have to be a member to enjoy the performances we sponsor or the workshops we coordinate - but your support does ensure the continuation of the quality programming and the other services we provide. Our website has all the information you need to join.

I can't wait to meet our new Assistant Director. It's a wonderful job just waiting for the right person! Our search committee is taking applications through July 31 for the position. If you're interested - or know of someone who might be - take a look at the job description that's posted on our homepage and send in your resume, or pass the information along to someone you think might be a good fit. It's hard work, but it's truly satisfying to see the results of our efforts in the faces of our partners and audiences, from preschoolers at our Arts in Early Learning programs to the elders at The Morrison.

Stay cool!

Eileen Alexander

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