PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Arts Commission says the CEO of the West Valley Arts Council in Phoenix, Ariz., has been tapped to serve as the commission’s new director.

Charles Stanhope, chairman of the Maine Arts Commission, says Julie Richard will further a commitment to “Maine’s artists, arts organizations and arts educators.” For her part, she says she looks forward to being part of a “vibrant and well-respected organization.”

Richard, who begins her duties on Sept. 4, spent eight years in Arizona and before that held similar posts in South Carolina and Oklahoma. She also served as director of the Syracuse Opera in New York.

The Maine Arts Commission assists artists and arts organizations as it works to promote interest and participation in the state’s arts and cultural heritage.

Richard will replace Darrell Bulmer, who has been serving as acting director.

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