While everyone else has been planning Thanksgiving meals and making holiday shopping plans, a leadership transition has been occurring at ArtWorks! Gwinnett.
Raye Varney was named interim executive director of ArtWorks Gwinnett, according to an announcement issued on behalf of the board of directors.
Sally Corbett, the non-profit arts council’s inaugural executive director, is leaving the post and moving back to New York to be near her family. She has accepted a position with the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in Great Neck, NY, and starts her new job Nov. 26. Varney began work as interim executive director Nov. 10.
ArtWorks! Gwinnett was developed between 2008 and 2010 by volunteer civic leaders representing business, arts, and government entities, including schools, libraries and cities.
ArtWorks! Gwinnett began full-time operations in June of 2011 with Corbett’s hiring. In the past year and a half ArtWorks! Gwinnett has produced programs that promote and support the arts. It also initiated the first “Fusion: ArtWorks! Gwinnett Awards.” The second annual fundraiser and awards ceremony is planned for Feb. 25.
Varney brings more than 20 years of arts management expertise to Gwinnett, including work with the Georgia Council for the Arts, Georgia Shakespeare, 7 Stages Theatre, and Theatre in the Square. She managed the 1996 Cultural Olympiad Press Center. Varney is a Leadership Cobb graduate and has served as president of United Arts of Cobb and as board chair of The Renaissance Project Theatre. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a B.A. in English and speech communication.
Corbett has 18 years of service to arts in metro Atlanta. “I am so grateful for everyone in the arts in Gwinnett and everyone who has been supportive of the efforts made over the past year to raise the arts to a new level in Gwinnett,” Corbett said. “It has been an honor to be a part of ArtWorks! Gwinnett and to help establish this unifying force for the arts. I’ll miss the exceptional volunteers, artists, and civic leaders in Gwinnett.”
“I’ve already bought my ticket for ‘Fusion II’ and look forward to seeing everyone in February” as ArtWorks! Gwinnett continues to make an impact,” she said.
“Sally was our first executive director. She was instrumental in developing and growing ArtWorks!” said Caryn McGarity, co-chair of ArtWorks! Gwinnett’s board and the organization’s co-founder, in the announcement. “She has rallied members, arts organizations and supporters within our community. We couldn’t have done it without her. We will miss her and will always appreciate all she has done for us. As we look ahead, we are excited to have Raye step in as our interim director. I feel confident that we will continue our path as being the umbrella organization supporting the arts for Gwinnett County."
Dan King, founding secretary and now co-chair of ArtWorks! Gwinnett, said: “ArtWorks has been successful in its mission of informing Gwinnett citizens about local arts activities and promoting the efforts of Gwinnett artists. It is helping to make Gwinnett a better place to work, live and play. Sally's unflagging efforts on behalf of Gwinnett's arts have been a big part of ArtWorks! Gwinnett’s success. We will miss Sally and look forward to her return visits. The organization she helped start will continue to strive under Raye Varney and the engaged ArtWorks! Gwinnett board.”
"I'm thrilled to be able to join the terrific team at ArtWorks! and am grateful for all Sally Corbett has done to put the organization on such a firm footing," Varney said.
For more information about ArtWorks! Gwinnett, to volunteer or support the arts in Gwinnett, or for an events calendar and arts directory, visit http://artworksgwinnett.org.