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Carrboro Artscenter names interim director

Art Menius, director of the Arts Center in Carrboro
Art Menius, director of the Arts Center in Carrboro

Citing his need to focus on his aging body, the former director of the Carrboro ArtsCenter announced his retirement early this month. In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the ArtsCenter Board of Directors named Noel James interim director. James currently serves as the center’s education coordinator.

“In many ways it was a painful decision because I dearly love The ArtsCenter and the work that’s done there,” Menius said.“We’re at a place where we look better, we have a lot more energy and we have a lot more visibility.”

Jay Miller, chair of The ArtsCenter board of directors, said what he’ll miss the most about Menius is his commitment to civic work.

“He volunteered for a lot of committees that were related to the arts and The ArtsCenter, as well as working with the local government and things like the Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “He was really active with that in a way that we haven’t had in some time. It’ll be hard for anybody to do all the things he was doing.”

Incoming director James, who has strong experience in arts administration and who has been working with The ArtsCenter in its arts immersion program in local schools, will bring a new look to the center’s established programs, Miller said.

“Interim director is an interesting position,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a situation where you want to make a lot of changes, but at the same time, I think she’ll help us analyze everything we’re doing with a fresh set of eyes.”

Julie Tomkovick, development director at The ArtsCenter, said James brings high energy, a joyful spirit and a new perspective.

“She will keep us focused on fulfilling our mission as we plan for a new facility and continue serving our community through arts education and art experiences,” she said in an email.

Brad Porter, operations director at the center, said Menius’ work building The ArtsCenter’s donor base in the community has been invaluable.

“We will continue to build upon the foundation he has laid and are appreciative of his support and service to The ArtsCenter,” he said.

Menius said he will still be involved in The ArtsCenter in some ways, though not with an official position. He added that he is proud of what he accomplished at The ArtsCenter and is looking forward to advancing arts and culture in the next phase of his life.

“At this point, I’m really just a loving supporter, and what I can do to help in the future, I’ll do with great joy.”

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