ArtCenter Manatee seeks executive director after resignation

BRADENTON — ArtCenter Manatee is seeking a new executive director after Diane Shelly resigned the post Thursday.

The center’s board of directors announced that Shelly has decided to pursue other interests after serving in the position for more than five years.

Andi Franco, board member and first vice president, will act as interim executive director until the position is filled.

With the arts center participating in the downtown revitalization efforts of Realize Bradenton and the center’s board wanting the arts organization to take more of a business approach, Shelly said it was time to move on.

“I don’t think I’m the best person to take them to the next level,” she said.

But her departure is amicable, she said.

Sam Hershfield, ArtCenter board president, issued a statement to the Herald that included Shelly’s many accomplishments at the center. It states that she has built the organization’s membership by more than 1,000 members, introduced creative exhibitions and has attracted several nationally renowned shows to the downtown gallery.

Hershfield said he is in the process of informing art center members about Shelly’s resignation.

Beginning next week, the board will conduct a search for a new executive director. Those who are interested should e-mail Barbara Jennings, search committee chairwoman, at bjennin2@tampabay.rr.com, for details about the position.

Shelly said she will continue to participate in art center events.

“It’s been a wonderful ride I have had at the arts center,” she said.

January Holmes, features reporter, can be reached at 745-7057.

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