Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard is resigning to take a job as head of an arts center in Sedona, Arizona, the commission announced Monday.

Richard’s resignation will be effective next month, and the commission is expected to name an interim director before searching for a permanent successor.

Julie Richard

Julie Richard Photo courtesy of Maine Arts Commission

Richard is leaving to become executive director of the Sedona Arts Center.

“This has not been an easy decision for me,” she said in her letter of resignation. “I care deeply about the arts and culture sector in Maine and I am very proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure.”

Commission officials said highlights of Richard’s eight-year tenure included the completion of a statewide cultural plan in 2015, reform of the agency’s grants program to make it more transparent and equitable, and the creation of ArtsEngageME, a statewide cultural network for arts advocacy.

Four years ago, Richard also oversaw the state’s first Arts Education Census to assess arts programming in Maine’s schools, which led to an initiative to improve access to the arts for six school districts in Washington County.

The commission supports artists, art organizations, educators, policymakers and others to advance the arts in Maine.

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