Andrea Jordan does not create art herself; although she has participated in some visual arts classes, taken lessons in interpretive dance and done some “crafty things.”
Her passion lies in bringing all the moving parts together to create amazing artistic events to be shared with and enjoyed by others. She discovered her passion while working at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights as a public relations assistant with multiple duties; following that, she added financial management skills to her resume with a stint as program coordinator at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. And eventually, of course, she brought those skills with her to Greenville where she became Executive Director of Darke County Center for the Arts in January of 2013.
Her career with DCCA got off to a rocky start, not due to anything over which she had any control, but because she took over her new job at almost the exact moment when possibly dangerous structural problems were discovered in the auditorium at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall where DCCA presents its Artists Series and other programs. She leaned heavily on Keith Rawlins, then DCCA’s Artistic Director, to deal with all the logistics surrounding this impending catastrophe, and with the help of many others, including the Versailles Performing Arts Center where performances were moved, she and DCCA got through the crisis unscathed.
You will note that Andrea tends to give credit to others for DCCA’s many accomplishments. She lauds Greenville City Schools for their steadfast efforts to maintain the treasure that is St. Clair Memorial Hall. She insists that DCCA’s series of stellar successes are due to the efforts of other DCCA staff and crew, current DCCA board members and volunteers, and all those who have contributed their time and talents to DCCA in the past. “I don’t have to invent something new because it’s not broken,” she explains.
She credits the whole community for its hospitable nature and welcoming essence, and the accompanying pride local citizens take in “all that we have here.” The Erie, Pennsylvania native believes that her job is to act as the fire igniting the well-oiled machine that is Darke County Center for the Arts, an organization which presents nothing less than the best arts events to reach the broadest possible audience. Andrea will admit that she takes pride in carrying on the high standards that are expected from DCCA, and is pleased that DCCA presentations and events continue to flourish. And if pressed, she will reveal a few things that have occurred during her tenure of which she is proud.
DCCA’s Arts In Education program elicits praise from educators and delight from students, and according to Andrea, is the unsung hero of DCCA’s programming. Begun in 1983, AIE takes high quality performing artists to students in every grade in all local public schools, thus offering youngsters who may never have had exposure to the arts the opportunity to be introduced to other cultures, experience creative events, and be entertained, educated, and inspired by the arts. AIE also helps develop a new audience for DCCA, as those students grow and mature and continue to seek out DCCA’s many offerings. Andrea, typically, wants to assure that credit for AIE is given to the DCCA Artistic Director who works to find the best possible artists, the Program Planning Committee which chooses from those artists, and April Hoying, Director of Curriculum for Darke County’s Educational Service Center, who has the harrowing chore of setting up schedules with all of the schools.
When pressed for highlights of her time with the arts organization, Andrea lists last season’s sparkling celebration of DCCA’s fortieth anniversary, and the move of DCCA’s annual Barbecue and Blues event downtown, a smashing success enjoyed by hundreds and for which Andrea gives credit to the hard-working committee which plans it and the cooperation of Greenville Public Library as well as the City of Greenville. She is looking forward to creating new and exciting opportunities for experiencing the arts in our community as DCCA reaches out to new audiences while striving to continue serving current supporters.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.