During spring 2005, in an effort to better connect arts programming to other areas of the university, a new structure for the arts programs comprising the Office of Cultural Affairs was created. While the reorganization created some changes in the office's structure and staffing, the mission and content of our programs remain unchanged. The new structure created two different departmental entities that build on a successful history and track record as well as a strong foundation of support from all areas of the university.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Programs administers four different program areas: An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Performing Arts Series, arts partnership programs with the Watauga Arts Council and the Watauga County Board of Education; and management of Farthing Auditorium as a campus and community performance venue.
The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts continues to support the university's teaching mission through the administration of an exhibition and special events program, the Community Art School, the visual arts component of An Appalachian Summer Festival, practicum for the Department of Art's Arts Management program, and the university's permanent collection.
Both the Turchin Center and the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, formerly located within the Academic Affairs administrative structure, are now housed within the University Advancement Division. The leadership of that office, including Vice Chancellor Jerry Hutchens and Associate Vice Chancellor Lynn Drury, to whom both offices report, have been consistently supportive of Cultural Affairs programming. Patrons and arts lovers can rest assured that the new leadership is committed to securing the resources required by both areas to fulfill their respective missions.
Former Director of Cultural Affairs, Perry Mixter, has accepted a new position within the University Advancement Division, as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. In this capacity, Perry is working with all areas of the university to secure the funding they need to realize key goals. His leadership and commitment over the years has been greatly appreciated, and all of us in the Cultural Affairs area look forward to working with Perry in his new role.
We are also pleased to announce that our two offices are now officially "campus neighbors." The Office of Arts and Cultural Programs has moved to the recently opened Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing of the Turchin Center. We are happy to be closer in proximity to each other, as we continue to collaborate, share resources, and coordinate arts programming. Please stop by and visit our offices, if you haven’t already done so!
A final aspect of the reorganization concerns staff roles, with several of the staff assuming new or expanded roles within this structure.
All of us in the Cultural Affairs area are proud to continue building year-round arts programming which serves the campus and our surrounding region, and which serves to challenge, inspire and enrich quality of life. Building on the university's strong tradition of support for the arts, we are confident that the future is bright for the arts at Appalachian, and that our programs will continue to flourish and prosper.