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June 6, 2014

Arts panel picks new executive director

The new executive director of the Chenango Arts Council will bring her experience from Hollywood, New York City and Tennessee to the region.

The council in Norwich has announced that, effective July 1, Diane Batson-Smith will replace long-time Executive Director Victoria Calvert Kappel, who announced in January she would leave the post. 

Batson-Smith has had  a varied career in the arts, starting with her formation of a repertory company in Roanoke, Va., to receiving a variety of Emmys and Academy Awards for Hollywood motion picture studios, and as an independent film producer, according to a media release from the council. She was the senior producer and project supervisor for Dreamworks SKG, a project Director and Producer for Home Box Office, a studio executive for Walt Disney Productions, and a co-producer for Paramount Pictures.

She also has worked for many arts organizations in New York City. She was executive director for Kennedy Center Honoree Martina Arroyo’s foundation, and the manager and season sales and patron giving for Carnegie Hall, American Ballet Theatre, NY Philharmonic and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Before joining The Arts and Heritage Foundation of Tennessee in 2004, Batson-Smith served in several capacities on the staffs of regional colleges where she taught courses on the creative culture of business, filmmaking, finance, and arts management.

The Chenango Arts Council is entering its 40th year of operations, with performance, exhibition and funding programs that service Chenango, Otsego and Broome counties.  

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