PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg native Mark Lanyon was announced Friday as the new executive director for Artsbridge, effective Jan. 3.
Lee Rector, president of the Artsbridge Board of Directors, made the announcement Friday afternoon at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg.
Rector said a large number of people applied for the position following this summer's retirement of former director John Hoffman. A search committee narrowed the field to 12 people and then further narrowed it to four and then to three possibilities. Lanyon was chosen by the board at a meeting on Thursday.
Mark Lanyon, right, was announced Friday as the new executive director for Artsbridge by Lee Rector, left, president of the Artsbridge Board of Directors. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
"We were really amazed and blessed with how many great, qualified applicants that we had. Mark really fit the bill with all of his experience, his being local from the area and understanding what Artsbridge is and what our mission statement is, to support all of the arts in the Mid-Ohio Valley," Rector said.
"I think he has everything to offer and that's why we selected him to be the executive director," Rector said. "His resume and his past, I feel that Mark will be able to take all of the arts - along with Artsbridge - and really enhance the arts in the Mid-Ohio Valley."
Artsbridge works to support arts-related programs in Wood and Washington counties that range from educational and school-based programs and re-granting money to other arts organizations in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Lanyon, 44, is a 1986 graduate of Parkersburg High School. He attended the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and studied musical theater.
He also attended California State University where he is completing a degree in bio-medical engineering. He has performed on Broadway with parts in "Grease" and "Babes in Arms," was in a national touring production of "Grease" and has been in various performances in regional theater.
Initially, Lanyon said his main focus will be to focus on Artsbridge's mission statement, which is to improve the quality of life in the Mid-Ohio Valley by promoting and supporting the arts through financial and technical support and arts education in the schools and community.
"I really want to bring the arts community together from both the Parkersburg and Marietta area," he said.
Lanyon hopes to draw on his experiences and contacts to find ways to benefit Artsbridge's programs and services.
"I'm going to spend the first few months really learning and looking around, not changing too much," he said.
Lanyon believes the Mid-Ohio Valley has a good foundation and a lot of groups and organizations to draw from and build upon for the future.
"I think there are a lot of small components of brilliance here in this area. That's one of the things I'm very proud of," he said.
"Just to be able to bring all of those together to sort of have one artist community, I think would enhance everybody individually," Lanyon said.