Interim Executive Director Announced

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, your source for arts and culture throughout the Cultural Coast, has announced the appointment of Kelley Lavin as interim Executive Director following the retirement of Jim Shirley. Shirley has served as Executive Director of the Arts Alliance since November 2009. 

“Jim has joyously promoted and communicated the essential role in the local economy of Sarasota County’s incredible arts and cultural institutions, and built deep connections with the students and leaders in our schools,” Kelley Lavin said. “I’ll be continuing that good work and growing our national recognition as a cultural destination.” 

Lavin, the current board chair of the Alliance, will step down as president and take the position of Interim Director as of January 1, 2023. Julie Leach, Executive Director of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, has been appointed as the interim board chair for the Alliance. 

A search for a permanent Executive Director is already underway. The Alliance board has formed a committee to begin sourcing support from local partners to assist in finding the Alliance’s next great leader. 

Area arts and cultural leaders who have worked closely with Jim Shirley will be celebrating him at a private reception Monday, December 5, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.