Board chair, executive director of Asheville Area Arts Council step down

In a press release issued today, the Asheville Area Arts Council announced the loss of its executive director and its board chair. Departing director Angela Martinez had been hired in Spring 2008; and departing chair Janice Lierz had taken the post in November 2008.

The text of the release:

“The AAAC has had to say good-bye to its Executive Director, Angela Martinez.  Ms. Martinez’s father, who resides in Florida, is facing health challenges that require the presence of a family member. The AAAC applauds Ms. Martinez’s commitment to her family and wishes her and her family the very best.

Gallery Coordinator, Sarah Meyer, is currently the AAAC’s only full-time employee. With more hands-on involvement than typical, the Board of Directors has become more active in the day-to-day operations of the Council. In addition to maintaining gallery space for exhibiting area artists, the AAAC is currently receiving and processing applications for both its Grassroots Grants and Regional Artist Project Grant programs. More information about these programs is available online at

There have been changes on the Board of Directors as well. Chair, Janice Lierz, recently had to step down to focus on her businesses and her family. Tom Hayes was elected Chair at a meeting of the board on September 10.

The Arts Council appreciates the support of the local community during this transition period and will endeavor to keep the public informed as the search for a new director progresses.”

A phone call and e-mail to the arts council office were not immediately returned.

The arts council has had other big news this year: The organization cancelled its annual color ball, its primary fundraising event, citing difficult economic times. And in May, local abstract artist Jonas Gerard was announced as a strategic partner, renting the Front Gallery space that had previously been used for emerging artist exhibits.


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