POTSDAM The search is on for a new executive director for the St. Lawrence County Arts Council after Director Hilary M. Oak announced that she will be stepping down as soon as a replacement is found.
I feel like Ive taken the organization pretty much as far as I can, she said.
Ms. Oak joined the St. Lawrence County Arts Council as board president in December 2001, at a time when the council was almost nonexistent, defunct in all but name.
Over the last decade, the board worked to build the council back up. Ms. Oak became executive director in 2005. The councils successes and challenges during this time can be summed up in one word: growth.
The Arts Council has grown exponentially over these last ten years, Ms. Oak said. Every year weve had new growing pains.
The new executive director will be responsible for organizing the councils various projects, including art education classes and the gallery and gift shop at 51 Market St.
He or she also will manage the councils staff of eight employees, raise funds and look for grants to support future programs.
Whoever is chosen will have to find a way to help the Arts Council thrive in the midst of a struggling economy.
The effects of the recession are hitting us from all sides, Ms. Oak said.
In a challenging financial environment, finding the right person is important.
Several applications already have been received, and a selection likely will be made by October.
Local candidates are preferred, Ms. Oak said, but anyone with the proper skills and experience will be considered.
Ms. Oak said she will stay with the council until her replacement is found and properly trained.
As for Ms. Oak, once she steps down she plans to start a healing service in her home inspired by Thai meditation techniques.