Arizona Commission on the Arts announces new executive director

Contributed Photo: Anne L’Ecuyer is the new Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Director.

Anne L’Ecuyer selected to lead state arts agency

Contributed Article

PHOENIX – On Wednesday, the Arizona Commission on the Arts announced the selection of Anne L’Ecuyer as its next Executive Director. L’Ecuyer will assume leadership of the 54-year-old agency of the State of Arizona in February 2022.

L’Ecuyer is a policy strategist, facilitator, and seasoned executive who stays closely connected to an international network of creative leaders and individual artists. She is an expert in creative placemaking and place keeping, creative industries and cultural tourism, and the integration of the arts toward educational, social, and environmental goals in communities in the United States.

Throughout her career, Anne has worked with a range of large and small organizations at national, state, and local levels, and consulted with hundreds of arts leaders on strategy and support for their efforts. Previously, she served on the executive team at Arts on the Block, taught graduate studies in Arts Management at American University, and led the Field Services team at Americans for the Arts.

“My time in DC taught me a lot, especially about caring for one another and collaborating on community priorities,” said L’Ecuyer. “My to-do list starts with listening: to the field at large and to the Arts Commission’s board and staff. I look forward to engaging with the depth and diversity of Arizona’s arts and culture communities, learning from new creative colleagues, reconnecting with old friends, and discovering what we can accomplish together.”

L’Ecuyer’s selection follows an extensive six-month search process led by the Arts Commission’s Governor-appointed board of commissioners with input from a search advisory committee, including local artists, arts administrators, nonprofit professionals, and community engagement specialists. The process was facilitated by Dr. Tiffanie Dillard with Avenir Consulting Partners.

“Anne possesses an ideal combination of first-hand knowledge of the arts funding ecosystem, ground-level experience in nonprofit leadership and community engagement, and a deep commitment to public service through the arts,” said Mark Feldman, Chair of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “We considered many exceptional and worthy candidates before arriving at our final decision. We are beyond pleased that she has accepted the position.”

Beyond her wealth of experience, L’Ecuyer also has deep roots in Arizona. “Arizona’s natural and cultural beauty, complexity, and history is like nowhere else on earth. I was lucky enough to grow up here and I am so excited to be home again,” said L’Ecuyer.

L’Ecuyer will be the seventh person to lead the Arizona Commission on the Arts since its establishment in 1967. She is immediately preceded by Jaime Dempsey, who left the role in June 2021 to take a position at the Arizona Community Foundation. Since Dempsey’s departure, Alexandra Nelson has acted as interim Executive Director. Nelson will return to her position as Deputy Director upon L’Ecuyer’s arrival.

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 54-year-old agency of the State of Arizona and a leading force in the creative and professional development of Arizona’s arts sector. Through robust programs, research initiatives, and strategic grantmaking, the Arts Commission catalyzes arts-based partnerships that strengthen Arizona communities through the arts.

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