PHOENIX — The Arizona Commission on the Arts has a new leader.

Anne L’Ecuyer will assume the executive director position of the 54-year-old agency in February, the organization announced in a press release.

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

She has worked with large and small organizations at national, state and local levels and consulted with hundreds of arts leaders on strategy and support for their efforts.

As well, 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, the press release said.

“My time in D.C. taught me a lot, especially about caring for one another and collaborating on community priorities,” L’Ecuyer said in the press release. “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.”

The appointment of L’Ecuyer to the position follows a 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 press release said.

“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.”

L’Ecuyer 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,” she said.

L’Ecuyer will be the seventh person to lead the Arizona Commission on the Arts since its establishment in 1967.

Her predecessor, Jaime Dempsey, left the role in June 2021 to take a position at the Arizona Community Foundation.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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