Salisbury Arts Committee hiring executive director

The chairman of the city’s Arts and Entertainment Committee hopes to have a new executive director in place by July 1 to organize city events and bring more of them to the Downtown.

Jamie Heater, longtime volunteer coordinator of 3rd Friday and a member of the Arts and Entertainment Committee, confirmed she applied for the position.

“It will make all the efforts Downtown sustainable. It won’t replace volunteer and community initiatives. It will allow them to blossom,” Heater said early this week.

Mike Day, a former City Council member who chairs the committee, said the position is “good news for the city because it reflects the renaissance going on Downtown.”

“Mayor Jake Day gave us this opportunity to do this. We want to take it to the next level and make Downtown Salisbury shine,” Day said.

“We wanted to do this and this was the right timing,” he said.

Applications are being accepted until June 10. The annual pay will be in the low $60,000 range, Day said. Office space, furnished by the city, will be on Division Street. A visitors’ center will also be in that office.

Duties include creating, executing and marketing events downtown; coordinating communications with the public and government; and handling administrative and financial management.

Qualifications include an advanced college degree, minimum of three years’ experience organizing and managing events attended by at least 1,000 people, three years’ experience in marketing or communications, a four-year minimum combination of education or experience in financial management and experience working with city and local government, business owners and non-profit organizations.

Those interested can send a resume and salary requirements to salisburyday@aol.com or mail them to Salisbury A&E District, 126 N. Division Street, Salisbury, Md., 21801.

“We plan to hit the ground running. We will probably have a couple more signature events. We are looking for more events that the new executive director can help coordinate, but that we will not manage,” he said, giving, as an example, the beer festival planned for June 18. It will be run by a nonprofit organization.

Ribbon cutting for the completed Riverwalk upgrade will be in conjunction with the beer festival, Day said.

His committee will also explore improvements to 3rd Friday and First Saturday.

“The 3rd Friday event is big but things can be added to it, especially in warm weather, when we can get people moving outside of the Downtown Plaza area. Next year the Plaza will be torn up for the Streetscape project. The east end of Main Street will start being torn up for that project pretty soon,” he said.

First Saturday “has had some issues, some weather issues, but I think we want to keep it,” he said.

The branding expert who designed the city’s new logo suggested moving it to the first Friday of the month instead of Saturday, and planning events every Friday evening after work.

“We talked about it, but what are we going to do the other two Fridays of the month? We can’t burn out our volunteers. Maybe something light the other two Fridays,” Day said.

Mayor Day clarified that the contract between the entertainment committee and the city requires an event every Friday, beginning July 1, as well as Third Saturday. Any changes would have to be approved by the mayor.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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