Spectrum: Dorchester Center for the Arts director to step down

After nearly 10 years as Executive Director at the Dorchester Center for the Arts (DCA), Mickey Love is stepping down from her leadership role. She has accepted a position with the University of Maryland Extension and will be relocating to Westminster.

“It was a bittersweet decision to leave DCA, as my heart belongs to the arts,” stated Ms. Love. “However, the Extension post is a tremendous opportunity, and will also allow me to be a bit closer to my family in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Certainly, I will miss the friends I have made here, and greatly appreciate all who have supported me and DCA over the past 10 years.”

Ms. Love came to DCA in 2007, when the organization was at its 120 High St. location. During her tenure, the organization launched a capital campaign, which resulted in $1.9 million in renovations of 321 High St., its current site. The 14,000 square-foot facility has allowed for expanded programming to include diverse gallery shows; a wider variety of instructional arts for youth and adults; theater; concerts and a special event rental venue. The increased space has resulted in bringing memorable programs to Dorchester County to include presentations of “Godspell”; “The American Spiritual Ensemble”; “The Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra”; workshops by nationally-recognized artists like Chris Carter; touring exhibits to include “Exploring the Tarot: Twenty-three Artists Hook the Major Arcana” and more.

“It is with sadness that we say good-bye to Mickey as Executive Director,” said Alicia Hoffman, DCA board president. “But at the same time we are pleased she is advancing her career.”

Mickey Love and Barb Seese

Although Ms. Love is leaving, the work of DCA will continue on course as the Board has selected Barb Seese, the current Education and Program Coordinator, to step in as Executive Director.

“I have known Barb for several years and she is an excellent, talented professional,” Ms. Hoffman added. “We look forward to her leadership of the DCA organization.”

Ms. Seese came to DCA in October 2013, with over 20 years in the arts and communication field. An Eastern Shore native, Barb grew up in Easton where an early interest in art led to weekly classes at the Academy of the Arts, now Academy Art Museum, from third grade through high school graduation.

She spent two years at Frostburg studying Fine Art before transferring to the University of Maryland College Park, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising Design. After graduation, she spent 14 years in California as an Art Director, with an emphasis on the recording industry, also providing volunteer service and leadership to the nonprofit sector. Barb returned to the Shore to be closer to her aging parents, and served as Production Director at MTS Broadcasting, followed by a decade as Executive Director of the Oxford Community Center.

“I’m thrilled and feel privileged to be taking this next step with DCA,” stated Ms. Seese. “The past three years of planning and coordinating classes, summer camp, gallery concerts and theater, as well as producing the annual Dorchester Center for the Arts Showcase, has given me a solid base of understanding for the role that DCA plays in the community. I look forward to working collaboratively with the board, membership, funders, and stakeholders from the local to the state levels to help shape the arts for the future.”

Ms. Love’s final day with the organization is Feb. 16. However, as part of the Artists’ Reception on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m., DCA will host a special Second Saturday Celebration, providing an opportunity to extend best wishes to Ms. Love. Community members are welcome for an evening of hors d’oeurves, bubbly, music and tribute.

IN THE GALLERIES

DCA is pleased to present in the galleries in February the Sculpture and Photographs of Mark Schwenk (Photographer/Sculptor), Cheryl Langlais (Sculptor), and Richard Weiblinger (Photographer). The show runs Feb. 3 -26 and an Artists Reception will be held on Feb. 11

from 5 – 7:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: Spectrum is the weekly column of the Dorchester Arts Center. It is written by Mickey Love, executive director.

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