July 31 2017 11:46 AM

Lansing Art Gallery searches for new Education Director


If you’ve walked through downtown Lansing on Washington Square, you’ve probably noticed the Pop Up Art exhibits placed strategically along the way. These kiosks are presented by the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center.

According to their website, the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center is actively providing “public awareness, education and enjoyment of the visual arts by promoting the work of Michigan artists” through these exhibits, and more.

The gallery’s education center has been around for 30 years, which offers on-site instruction with qualified, teaching artists in a dedicated educational space, holding up to fifteen students per session.

The operations of the long-standing institution are running so smoothly that it might be a surprise to learn that the former Education Coordinator of the Lansing Art Gallery, Sydney Richards, has left, due to a work opportunity elsewhere. This has forced the team at the gallery to search for someone new to fill the part-time position.

“One of the things we did for this particular posting is that we reframed it a little bit and the job title. It had been previously called the Education Coordinator and we really feel like we are ready, we are at this pivotal point in our organization to really expand programming if the right individual comes in,” Executive Director of the gallery, Barb Whitney said.

Whitney said that the center seeks someone who is “driven, excited and motivating.”

“Who can just really engage with the community and blow up our educational programming. That is why there is a change in the title and some of the responsibilities, there is a potential of the Education Director to really assist with some of the fundamentals around the programming.,” Whitney said. “The right person can come in and make this full time pretty quickly.”

Currently, Arielle Creps is filling in as the Education Coordinator as Whitney and a team of professionals look through potential applicants. Creps is a gallery associate but has shown her merit in the arts especially, by taking on the additional responsibilities of the Education Coordinator.

“She is working full time during our art camps, supporting the teachers in their roles, ordering supplies, and making sure we are taking last minute enrollments for two weeks from now,” Whitney said. “She is shepherding volunteers through the process, ushering students to the restrooms appropriately, greeting parents and checking them in and checking them out, making sure we have all of the emergency files in place and photography releases and whatever else that is important.”

And Creps is responsible for more on top of her existing job also, meaning that a replacement cannot come soon enough.

The priority deadline for the job of Education Director is Aug. 1. Whitney said there have already been an influx of applications.

“I have seen a number of applications,” Whitney said. “We are working with a hiring committee on the process, so I’ve been discussing with them on dates and times for potential interviews and working through logistics of what that might look like after we score the applications independently and make the call for next steps. We already have a pool of really highly qualified candidates, so I’m super excited about that.”

After the Aug. 1 priority deadline, Whitney and the hiring committee will take a week to review all of the applications, then a week or two to call up candidates for interviews.

“We hope to have an offer out by probably mid to late August at the latest and have someone start, I mean my dream would be to have someone in by Sept. 1, but again, knowing that they may be leaving a position, it might look more like Sept. 15-ish,” Whitney said.

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