While in the midst of refocusing its efforts, the Sandy Springs Arts Foundation has named a new manager.
Maureen Darcey will start the combined leadership and fundraising job position of foundation manager on Dec. 3, according to Ken Byers, chair of the foundation’s board.
“We think she’s going to be terrific,” Byers said. “With her, we are really going to get on the ball.”
The nonprofit foundation, established by the city government, began working in 2017 with a mission of subsidizing arts programs at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs. But it has struggled to hit fundraising goals.
Its work originally included grants for programming subsidies and arts education, running a campaign where donors would get their names on brick pavers in the City Green park and vetting naming opportunities for the PAC and other City Springs facilities.
In September 2018, the foundation board severed its ties with the city and reorganized as a private nonprofit and in September 2019, the city announced its own brick-and seat-buying program.
Since then, the foundation has been refocusing its efforts on raising money for the PAC and its arts programs, as well as marketing the naming rights for the entire building.
It also backed off on its $7.5 million fundraising goal set at its formation two years ago. In October, Byers said the foundation raised around 30-35% of that goal by December 2017 but has not raised much since. The city took over the brick program itself.
Byers said the foundation used a firm called Our Fundraising Search to find a new director and had over 80 candidates.
The search came after the former executive director Emily Hutmacher resigned and started a new job as executive director of Playworks Georgia in August.
The board hired Hutmacher in January 2018 as its first executive director; her last official day with the foundation was July 15, but she gave her notice in May, according to Byers.