(TRENTON, NJ) -- The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has named Allison Tratner as the new Executive Director. The final vote confirming Ms. Tratner as the Executive Director was made October 24th during the Council's public meeting at Perkins Center for the Arts in Collingswood.
The news was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from attendees, which included members of the public, artists, and leaders in the field of arts and culture. Ms. Tratner has served on the Council staff since 2005 in a number of positions, most recently as Deputy Director and Director of Communications. During her time at the Council, Allison has helped usher in a number of programs and initiatives, building strong relationships with arts organizations, artists, and communities throughout the state. During her time with the agency, Allison has been responsible for supporting the Council's interests in strategic communications, long-range planning, and cross-sector partnerships.
During yesterday's meeting, State Arts Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson discussed the Council's decision-making process: "Since learning of the previous Director's departure earlier this year, we on the Council agreed to take our time in filling this position; to be thoughtful, deliberate, and forward-thinking in our decision. Sound, strong leadership of this agency at the staff level has helped make New Jersey a leader in the State Arts Agency field, and is crucial to serving our constituency and the people of our state."
"Throughout her tenure with the Council, Allison has demonstrated a commitment to excellence that has helped to keep this agency at the forefront among our peers," said Ms. Mattson. "She is creative, intelligent, and a passionate advocate for the arts. She also brings to this post key knowledge and a depth of understanding of the agency's past and a dedication to its mission that will take us to new heights."
The Arts Council worked closely with the Secretary of State throughout the process, as the Arts Council is an agency of the Department of State. "I am confident Allison's experience and solid background working with the arts community will greatly benefit the growth of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and its mission," said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. "Art, in all its varied forms, is important to New Jerseyans. It enhances our daily lives, and shines a light on all aspects of society lifting our spirits, beautifying our communities, and attracting visitors. We cannot underestimate the ways in which a thriving and vibrant arts community benefits our state, and Allison will be its champion."
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"I am honored to take on this new role in service to an agency and a community that I believe to be so vital," said Allison Tratner. "The arts industry is among New Jersey's greatest assets, with artists and arts organizations in every corner working hard to hone and teach skills, expand and spark imagination, build and bridge communities, and so much more. Together with the exceptional team in the office, our visionary board, and a supportive Administration, I look forward to the next chapter of innovative support of the arts statewide."
Prior to joining the Council, Allison worked in the nonprofit sector as both an educator, and a research and evaluation consultant with prominent firms and museums in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. She earned her MA in Museum Education at the University of the Arts and holds degrees in Arts Education and Fine Arts from Alfred University.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.