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Jason Rapp

Arts Council of York County announces new leader

New executive director starts next month


Lori Robishaw was named the new executive director of the Arts Council of York County (ACYC) Thursday, and the organization expects her tenure to begin Monday, Nov. 15.

[caption id="attachment_48064" align="alignright" width="175"] Lori Robishaw[/caption] Robishaw will come to Rock Hill after five years as executive director of La Grua Center in Stonington, Connecticut, a small cultural venue that presents concerts, art exhibitions, and speakers on a wide range of topics. She was responsible for increasing both earned and contributed revenues there, as well as leading the organization through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training that then informed the organization’s new strategic plan. Prior to that position she was the executive director of the Ashtabula Arts Center in her Ohio hometown and an arts management consultant who helped launch the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition in 2013. ACYC Board of Director President Priscilla Nealy said Robishaw's "wide breadth of experience and connections to the greater arts community makes her perfectly suited to propel the ACYC into our next chapter.” Her career has also included a five-year stint in Washington, where she headed the communications office for Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education. She continued with the organization as a consultant for 15 years, which included writing the book commemorating the organization’s 50th Anniversary and the program journal and event script for its annual National Arts Awards in New York City. “I am delighted to be joining the Arts Council of York County and excited to move to this growing region,” Robishaw said. “It is a tough time for the arts and culture world as we continue to move through this pandemic, but surely the last year and a half has shown us how critical the arts are to our health and well-being, not to mention the economy of our communities.” “I feel like I am returning to my roots, working with what I call the arts infrastructure of our country. I started out with a state arts agency in Ohio, worked at the national level in Washington, and now have the chance to run an arts council at the local level. These umbrella organizations are so important for communities to be able to look at the big picture as they foster partnerships among cultural assets to strengthen a sense of place, while at the same time, play a role in attracting and retaining businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Robishaw. “The board and staff have done a stellar job this past year following Debra Heintz’s long and distinguished tenure, and I am eager to contribute what I can to moving the organization forward.”

More about Lori Robishaw

Lori Robishaw has held positions with some of America’s leading regional theatres, including managing the National Playwrights Conference for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in New York City and Waterford, CT. She also was a founder of CATCO, now Columbus’s major resident professional theatre, The Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, and the Ojai Playwrights Conference. In addition, she has worked in higher education in a senior staff communications position at Ohio State, as well as in the broader nonprofit arts sector for the Ohio Arts Council—which included a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts—and The Music Center of Los Angeles County. She has also forayed briefly into the commercial sector by managing a producer’s office for a season on Broadway and working for two film production companies and as a script analyst in Hollywood. Robishaw holds a BA in theatre from Ohio State and an MFA in theatre management from the Yale School of Drama.

About the Arts Council of York County

The Arts Council is headquartered in downtown Rock Hill, a state-recognized cultural district. For more information on Arts Council events, contact the Arts Council of York County at 803.328.2787, by email at arts@yorkcountyarts.org, or visit yorkcountyarts.org.