News for Portland’s arts community: the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) has hired Catherine Valenza as its new executive director – and her primary responsibility, at least for now, will be to run the First Friday Art Walk. (She’ll be taking over for Aucocisco Gallery, which organized the Art Walk for the past few years.)
Why does this matter? Money.
With a non-profit like PACA at the helm, the Art Walk will be eligible for grant funding – something that wasn’t true when the for-profit gallery ran things. Plus, adds PACA board member Jessica Tomlinson, there’ll be more sponsorship opportunities, which are inherently easier for non-profits to procure.
In her 20-hour-a-week position, Valenza will also be able to implement some of the ideas and suggestions that come up at PACA’s Creative Conversations (the next one takes place on August 7, at 7 p.m., at the SPACE Gallery).
“We need a go-to person for artists in the Portland community when they have questions,” Tomlinson says.
We hope to talk with Valenza soon about some of her ideas, and we’ll post those here.
UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Cathy Valenza, a Portland resident who moved here five years ago from Long Island, NY. Valenza, who says she's looking forward to getting to know the "greater art community" (and by that, she clarifies, "I'm talking about not just the visual art community"), doesn't yet know what's in store for the First Friday Art Walk. Before she makes any changes, she wants to hear from as many artists as she can. For that reason, she's especially excited for the August 7 Creative Conversations, at which she'll certainly get that opportunity.