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PEC Arts Council charts new course

Nonprofit names its first Executive Director and plans new programs

Picton, November 14, 2016 – There’s new blood and a shift in focus at the Prince Edward County Arts Council. The nonprofit aims to increase its impact in the community through new partnerships and programs that will help further artists’ practice and contribute to the local economy. With that in mind, the Arts Council recently named its first-ever Executive Director, Janna Smith.

Janna SmithOver its 30-year history, the Arts Council’s charitable status has helped establish some of the County’s most prestigious and longest-running events, such as PEC Jazz Festival, Music Festival, Art in the County, The Maker’s Hand, CLiC Photo Show, and has helped sustain PEC Studio Tour and the Arts Trail.

But after surveying the local arts community, the Council’s Executive Board of Directors realized that the organization’s role and relevance in the arts community was not well understood. They heard that the Arts Council was perceived as under funded and disconnected, and that people weren’t sure what the Council’s purpose was.

“Contributing to the success of County arts events has been the Arts Council’s strength, but it’s not a story that has been widely told,” says Sue Barclay, Chair of the nonprofit’s board, “We want people to know that we’re a resource that can help new arts initiatives get off the ground.”

The Council’s five-year strategic plan places a priority on improved communication, community outreach, and support for artists. The Council created a new staff position to implement this plan, naming Janna Smith as its first-ever Executive Director, tasked with increasing the organization’s impact and renewing its place in the community.

“As a nonprofit organization that is run by a board of volunteers, we realized that to accomplish our new goals, we needed someone with leadership who could bring our vision to life,” says Barclay.  “We want the Executive Director to be focused on securing new resources, developing new programs, and forging new partnerships within the community.”

After interviewing nearly a dozen candidates out of some twenty who applied for the position from across the province, the Board gave Smith the nod. An arts administrator with over fifteen years experience working in the cultural sector, Smith previously served on the Arts Council’s Executive Board for two years before resigning in May of 2016. She and husband Duncan Moore moved to the County from Montreal in 2013, and welcomed their first child in June of this year. Smith has been active in the community, as a recent trustee for Awesome PEC, and Administrative Manager at Festival Players during the 2015 season. She officially steps into her new role on January 2, 2017.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to implement this exciting new direction for the Arts Council,” says Smith, “I’m particularly keen to develop new programs that have a tangible impact for County artists. And if anyone in the community has an idea for a new arts initiative, please get in touch!“

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For more information contact:

Mary Tucker