Byrdcliffe Guild announces new director

Jeremy Adams

Jeremy Adams

The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild — now calling itself Byrdcliffe at Woodstock — announced the hiring this past week of New York arts administrator Jeremy Adams, a British-born resident of Lomontville, near Stone Ridge, as its new executive director starting January 2.

Adams, with degrees from Kingston College and the University of Winchester in England, and Pratt University here, has served as Executive Director of the CUE Art Foundation in New York’s Chelsea art district for the past decade, where he was responsible for creating and growing programming, liaising with board members, increasing awareness of the organization, and raising the funds necessary to help the organization expand and provide more services to serve its mission fostering emerging arts talents in the midst of the Manhattan art market.

“We are delighted that Jeremy will be the new Executive Director of Byrdcliffe. Jeremy is a leader who can build on Byrdcliffe’s legacy, manage the organization effectively, and help Byrdcliffe achieve its full potential as a magnet for artists and a center of creative and economic vitality for our entire region,” said Henry T. Ford, chair of the Byrdcliffe board of directors in a press release this week. “We were looking for someone with a passionate commitment to Byrdcliffe’s mission as a vibrant arts and crafts colony; management experience in successfully running a non-profit organization — including strong planning, financial, fundraising, and communication skills; and an ability to work collaboratively with all of the constituencies that are important to Byrdcliffe’s success. We have found that person in Jeremy Adams.”

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Adams will take over from Matthew Leaycraft, a former Guild board member who stepped up as interim director, and then worked as executive director to stabilize the venerable organization’s finances and programming, following an aborted new hire of a New York City arts administrator that lasted a summer following longstanding director Carla Smith’s retirement.

Smith passed away earlier this year. Leaycraft has moved to New York to pursue his calling as an ordained minister.

While at CUE — which puts on exhibitions, runs professional development programming, maintains studio residencies, and provides arts education — Adams nearly doubled the organization’s revenue by targeting and cultivating relationships with foundations, individuals and government grant-makers, as well as increasing earned income. In addition, he helped create a consortium of 24 visual arts organizations offering professional development programming for artists in the Tri-State area and was named one of the nation’s top 20 leaders in the Visual Arts non-profit sector.

“It is truly an honor to be invited to join such a well respected colony as Byrdcliffe,” said Adams, who still works as an artist while raising a young family, in the same press release. “I am looking forward to collaborating with all the stakeholders in Woodstock’s dynamic cultural community; together, we will continue to grow the organization and provide thoughtful programming that meets the needs of such an artistically sophisticated audience, as well as increase national awareness of the cultural importance of the region as a whole.”

He is expected to be on hand at the opening of the organization’s annual 5×7 fundraising art exhibition at the Kleinert/James Arts Center this Friday evening, December 6.

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