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Fine Arts Work Center Appoints Sharon Polli as Executive Director

Fine Arts Work Center Sharon Polli Executive Director

The Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC) in Provincetown has selected Sharon Polli as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on May 10, 2021.

Ms. Polli joins FAWC after serving in various key leadership role, including Chief Revenue Strategist, Vice President of Advancement, and Executive Vice President, at BRIC, a leading cultural center and creative catalyst for the visual and performing arts, media, and civic action in Brooklyn, New York. During her tenure, she developed long-term strategies for financial support and partnerships to ensure BRIC’s continued ability to create cultural programming that is accessible and to provide substantial support to artists in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. Ms. Polli drove growth in individual, foundation, government, and corporate giving to increase and sustain BRIC’s $15 million annual budget. In 2020, she oversaw the launch of a $1 million fund in response to COVID in order to support BRIC’s pivot to virtual programs while ensuring no lay-offs of its more than 100 full-time staff members.

Prior to BRIC, Ms. Polli served as Deputy Executive Director of Groundswell, New York’s leading community public art organization. In this role, she implemented a social justice impact model that engaged more than 1,000 youth and 50 community-based partners, helped develop a strategic plan, and produced videos and educational guides in partnership with PBS to elevate youth perspectives on street harassment and the complex relationship between police and young men of color.

In addition to serving as Editor of CreateNYC, New York City’s first-ever city-wide Cultural Plan, Ms. Polli has held leadership positions on the boards of directors for Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, an organization that partners with communities fighting against oppression to inspire transformative action through theater. She is a Coro Leadership New York alumni and participant in intensive training programs at the New York City Cultural Advocacy and Equity Program and the American Express Leadership Academy/Center for Creative Leadership. Ms. Polli graduated magna cum laude with distinction from Carleton College, earning a bachelor of arts degree in sociology, anthropology, and theater.

In making the announcement, Search Committee Chair and President of the Board of Trustees Lynne Kortenhaus said, “The Search Committee was presented with an impressive talent pool thanks to the efforts of ACG. Sharon’s passion for the Work Center’s mission and her vision for the future stood out as a clear choice to lead FAWC. We are thrilled to welcome Sharon as the next Executive Director of the Fine Arts Work Center.”

“Nearly two decades ago, I first explored the thriving Provincetown artistic community and was awestruck by its vibrancy,” said Ms. Polli. “I believe in the vital role that the Fine Arts Work Center plays in supporting emerging talent in the arts and literature and I am extremely honored to join the outstanding team at FAWC. Through a deep listening and reflection process, I look forward to engaging everyone involved in this creative community to work together to promote equity and accountability, advance the mission of FAWC, and amplify the vision and values of the community of artists and writers we serve.”

“Congratulations to Sharon Polli as she begins her tenure as Executive Director at Fine Arts Work Center,” said ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau. “She has dedicated her professional career to advancing artistic voices and creating equitable opportunities for artists, writers, and others in the creative field. Her strategic leadership will help this internationally renowned artist and writer residency enhance its support for early-career artists with an opportunity to live and work together in a community of peers.”

April 2021

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