The Carrboro ArtsCenter has found an Art.
UNC alumnus Art Menius was named the new executive director for the community arts organization as it seeks to rebound from a debt that led to an administrative changeup.
Menius will succeed Jay Miller, who served as interim director for six months after Ed Camp’s position was eliminated last year in an attempt to save money.
After the 2008 recession hit, the ArtsCenter struggled to stay afloat financially.
In the 2008-09 fiscal year, the center reported an operating loss of $142,309 and a steep decline in paid memberships, which prompted an organizational reform.
Julie Tomkovick, development director for the ArtsCenter, said that the organization has managed to pull off a 180-degree turnaround.
“We always need to maintain a clear balance sheet and we have done that absolutely — we are exactly where we want to be,” she said.
By September, the ArtsCenter had raised about $14,000 in donations.
The center has also applied for various grants in an effort to turn its deficit around.
Menius, who will begin his new position Tuesday, has had years of experience at arts nonprofits.
He helped found and directed the International Bluegrass Music Association, and he has also been involved with endeavors like Folk Alliance International and MerleFest.
“He brings in a wealth of experience from the outside organizations he has been involved with,” Tomkovick said.
Before Menius can begin implementing new ideas for the ArtsCenter, he has to prepare for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
For his first three months, he said, he will evaluate current programs and initiate long-term planning to develop the coming year’s budget.
“I believe in the mission of the organization and I love the community,” Menius said.
“There is a tremendously talented staff and a very dedicated board, so we are ready to move forward and do great things that I believe will amaze the community over the next five years.”
Adam Graetz, marketing director for the ArtsCenter, said Menius’ biggest strength is his knowledge of the organization and what it wants to accomplish in the future.
“He was interested in knowing our story and what we were doing and how he could come in and benefit us,” Graetz said. “At the end of the day, it was clear that Art was for us.”
Menius said he is grateful for all of the hard work the staff at the ArtsCenter has done in terms of cutting the budget and building a budget with a considerable surplus.
“The cuts have been done for me, so I’m not coming in to be the bad guy,” Menius said.
“I’m coming in to be the good guy.”
Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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