Reflections from retiring arts center director

Published 7:07 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When my husband and I were preparing to retire, we conducted a five-year search to find the perfect community to call home. We visited dozens of charming small towns across the country, but kept returning to Danville. This community had so much to offer, but the thing that stood out most to us was Danville’s commitment to the arts. For a town of this size to have an organization like the Community Arts Center? That said a lot about the community and its priorities.

I consider myself extremely privileged to have served as Executive Director of the Community Arts Center for the past eight years. The opportunity to use the banking and technology skills I had honed in my first career in support of such a tremendous community organization excited and inspired me on a daily basis. I met new people, learned new skills and broadened my own understanding of the arts and their impact on our world.

As a community, we are so fortunate to be surrounded by diverse arts programming in the performing, musical and visual arts. This investment requires the joint commitment of many community partners. I enjoyed working closely with the county and city governments, the Heart of Danville, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Boyle County Public Library, the Dollhouse Museum, our regional school districts, Centre College, West T. Hill Theatre, Pioneer Playhouse, Scarlet Cup Theater, the Sister Cities Commission, the Norton Center, Danville Sings, the Great American Brass Band Festival, the Arts Commission and many others who shared the Arts Center’s vision for a thriving, vibrant, art-filled community.

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As executive director, it was particularly gratifying to be welcomed by the members of the Economic Development Partnership and to see that Boyle County’s business leaders have embraced the arts as an economic driver in our community, understanding that the arts are critical to recruitment and retention of top talent and that the arts have a direct and lasting impact on the quality of life for our citizens.

I am excited to remain an active participant in Danville’s arts community and I am looking forward to seeing the next chapter of the Community Arts Center’s history unfold. Thank you for all the support and best wishes!

Mary Beth Touchstone