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Andrew Allen Leaving Lake Wales Arts Council

Andrew Allen has resigned as executive director of the Lake Wales Arts Council. His last day is Aug. 5.

Board Chair Rusty Ingley announced Allen's planned departure with "both sadness and gratitude."

"Andrew leaves LWAC in a strong position for continued growth, and we sincerely thank him for his contribution and leadership here," Ingley wrote in a letter to friends, patrons and partners.

Ingley said since Allen joined the Arts Council in 2008, "he has helped usher in a new strategic plan through the Board of Directors and staff, built new important strategic partnerships with complementary partners, and helped improve and stabilize operations and organizational processes, and many other accomplishments."

Ingley said select board members and staff will take over day-to-day operations at the Arts Center, while the Board oversees the process of permanently filling the position.

"The Lake Wales Arts Council is in good hands," Allen posted on Facebook, noting he has a few things brewing and he will announce his plans when the time is right. "I am looking forward to my future participation with the Lake Wales Arts Council as a concert-goer and donor. The organization is trending in a fantastic direction, and I believe that the LWAC will continue its success well into the future. Leadership has never been stronger at the Arts Council, and I'm excited for what their future holds!

"Thank you to everyone who supported me during my employment! To the previous and current staff, you have helped me achieve accomplishments at the LWAC that most could only dream of. Your hard work and dedication allowed all of us to grow and learn. For that, I will be forever grateful.

"To my past and present board members...THANK YOU for believing in me. Thank you for supporting my vision and allowing me to work with an incredible amount of trust. You empowered me to succeed, and you allowed me to fail. You provided me with the tools to forge my path at the LWAC and become the leader I am today. Any Executive Director would be lucky to serve under your stewardship.

"To the volunteers, sponsors, supporters, and donors: You are the reason the institution has survived for 50 years! You are a critical asset to all of us who work at the Arts Council. Thank you for believing that fine arts should be accessible for everyone...REGARDLESS of their socio-economic status.

"For now, please continue to support the Lake Wales Arts Council. The service they provide to the community is paramount to the cultural development of central Florida. The Arts Council provides a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to participate in the fine arts."

Ingley also announced that due to "the highly contagious delta variant causing a surge of new cases of coronavirus" all indoor activities and scheduled events will be suspended until Sept. 30. The arts center will honor all facility rentals booked prior to July 30. The board will meet in September to determine reopening procedures and protocols.


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