The Sarasota County Arts Council restructured its board of directors Tuesday starting with the elimination of members Bill Korp, Edward Alley, Louis Schultz, Darrell Huntley, Nancy Roucher, Audrey Coleman, Tony Swain, Chris Pfahler, Vice President Warren Simonds and President Terry Romine.
The board came to an amicable decision following discussions with local arts groups that expressed concern over the council’s lack of arts advocacy. In an effort to serve as better and more efficient advocates, the board agreed to trim itself down to four key members — Dr. Larry Thompson, president of the Ringling College of Art and Design, John Alan Fischer, executive director of the Artist Series of Sarasota, Linda DiGabriele, managing director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, and Pedro Reis, founder of Circus Sarasota.
“The board felt the best thing to do was restructure and let the arts and cultural groups take control and ownership over their future,” said Ashley Brown, communications manager at the Arts Council.
Thompson will serve as board chairman. DiGabriele will serve as vice president; Fischer will serve as treasurer; and Reis will serve as secretary. All four board members directly represent arts organizations ranging from small to large.
“Basically, the arts and cultural groups wanted to work together,” Brown said. “Each of these board members represents a small-, middle- or large-sized group. This is the first time in a long time all these organizations have come together to form a really positive partnership. They wanted a board comprised of leaders from other arts and cultural groups.”
According to Brown, additional board members from other arts and cultural organizations will be named at the Arts Council’s Sept. 16 board meeting.
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