| Fort Myers News-Press
Hurricane cleanup at the Alliance for the Arts
Lydia Black talks about how Hurricane Irma created a mess at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, and how volunteers helped clean up the place Saturday morning.
After 13 years executive director at Alliance for the Arts in Lee County, Lydia Black is stepping down.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Black said the decision was bittersweet.
“When I started working at the Alliance, my goal was to leave her better than I found her,” she said in the post.
“With the help of so many creatives — board, staff, members, artists and patrons — I believe we’ve accomplished that and I look forward to what the future holds.”
Black’s tenure will terminate at the end of this year.
In an online statement, Board President Jonathan Romaine expressed his appreciation for Black’s more than a decade of work.
“Under Lydia’s leadership, the Alliance has flourished. For 13 years, Lydia has worked tirelessly to lead a team of dedicated staff and volunteers with an eye toward fiscal responsibility, creative arts programming, team building and adaptability,” he said.
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“As both a friend and a colleague of Lydia’s, I can say with confidence that just because she’ll no longer be managing the day-to-day of the Alliance, she will always be a part of the important work and legacy of the organization.”
The Alliance has already posted the executive director job listing to its website. For a full job description, visit artinlee.org/careers.
Several candidates have already applied, according to Black. She said she’s excited to have “a deep pool of talented cultural-minded leaders from which to choose.”
“Life is full of change … and we have to be ready to jump …” Black wrote in her Facebook post.
“I’ve encouraged others to step outside their comfort zones, embrace creativity, welcome change and I’m taking some of my own advice.”
As for her next steps, Black isn’t quite sure what to expect yet. In an email to the Naples Daily News she said she would be interested in a backpacking adventure or a year exploring Portugal, but the pandemic put those dreams to the side for now.
“It’s been nonstop adventures for 13 years and now I am giving myself some time to breath and reflect before I decide what’s next for me in the coming decade.”
For the rest of the year, she’ll stay on as executive director to help the Alliance find someone to fill her shoes.