Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Center for the Arts introduces new CEO

Terri Trotter welcomed into the fold at Monday reception

Express Staff Writer

    The Sun Valley Center for the Arts hosted a reception for new Chief Executive Officer Terri Trotter at the organization’s Ketchum headquarters Monday evening.
    A few dozen arts patrons and Center for the Arts employees attended the event. Trotter started her new job on Sept. 4, coming from the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Ark. She was selected following a nationwide search for a new CEO that began in January, board Chair John Gaeddert said.
    “We are excited about adding Terri’s skill set and fresh perspective to the wonderful programming and work The Center provides to the community,” he said in a news release. “Terri’s 17 years of progressive leadership at the Walton Arts Center, the last as [chief operating officer], and engagement with nationally recognized organizations, reflects our commitment moving forward.”
    Before the Fayetteville arts center, Trotter worked in business development, special events and entertainment marketing, and theater, both on-stage and off. She is involved in the national arts scene, having served in a leadership capacity on the board of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and as a committee member on The Broadway League. Trotter has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in communication studies and a master’s degree in telecommunications from Indiana University.
    Her extensive resume, Gaeddert said at the reception, wasn’t the only thing about Trotter’s application that singled her out. Her cover letter, he said, showed her own passions were in line with those of The Center’s.
    In her letter, she cited a colleague’s view that good arts organizations are “community-building organizations that use art to do its work.”
    “My true passion lies in the opportunity arts organizations have to catalyze the community as a driver of identity, community spirit, quality of life and economic development,” she wrote.
    The emphasis The Center has on education was a major draw, Trotter said in a short speech at the reception.
    “The fact that last year there were more students participating in programs at the Sun Valley Center then there are students in the valley” was hugely impressive to her, she said.
     “It means they’re participating more than once,” Trotter added.
    The diverse range of artistic talent that comes through the Wood River Valley, she said, is unusual for the relatively small population size. The Center’s desire to grow was another plus for Trotter, citing the possibility of a new arts facility.
    “[That’s] really my passion,” she said. “How does an arts organization do what it does to make the community a better place?”

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