It is with a heavy, yet appreciative heart that I announce the retirement of our Executive Director Susan Collings as of June 30th.
When Susan took the helm of The Art Connection in 2010, our organization was at a tender inflection point. Our finances were running in the red and our presence in the community was beginning to fade. But when Susan started, her enthusiasm was palpable and contagious. Soon enough, she implemented a three-year plan to increase our brand and restore our finances. Because of her, more than 3,000 original works of art donated by generous artists are now displayed at shelters, health clinics, community centers, and other social service agencies across the greater Boston area.
Perhaps what we will miss most is her recognition that all people have an inherent worth in appreciating art. Spreading art to people who are marginalized was truly Susan’s calling, and we have been honored to witness her in action. In 2015, to celebrate the life of our founder and local arts advocate Fay Chandler, friends and family hosted a series of community events entitled “Finding Fay.” Susan’s heart and strong dedication to this mission is just one of the places where we will continue to find our beloved Fay.
Susan has also redefined the position for our new Program Manager, Chanel Thervil, who is adding an art education component to the great work she does. To chart our course for the future, we have engaged with ESC New England to help us with program growth strategies as we begin a new chapter in The Art Connection’s history. We will bring on an interim Executive Director Fellow for six months to lay the ground work for these growth strategies before bringing on a permanent Executive Director at the beginning of next year. Please be on the lookout for updates as we move along. As always, we’ll continue our amazing work in placing original works of art across Greater Boston.
We will all miss Susan’s vision, charm, and tenacity. Here at the Art Connection, we see it as our mission to bring hope and an opportunity to see the world a little differently through the positivity of art.
Our friend Susan has done just that.