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Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Debra Polich named interim head of Arts Alliance

By Staff

Debra Polich, the longtime director of Artrain, has accepted the post of interim executive director at the Arts Alliance following the departure of Susan Froelich.

According to an announcement today, Polich will "lead the organization as the board appointed transition team continues to consider strategic options for the organization."

Polich, currently president/CEO of Artrain, will split her time between the two organizations beginning Monday. Artrain's board voted to permit the shift.

The Arts Alliance is an umbrella support group for arts organizations in Washtenaw County, and also a direct sponsor of programs and events. Artrain is an organization that provides traveling exhibits to under-served communities around the country.

"The Arts Alliance board is most pleased to have Debra Polich accept this appointment" said Lynne Friman, Arts Alliance board chair, in a prepared statement. "Deb, as much as anyone, knows the purpose and goals of the Arts Alliance. She has been involved with the Arts Alliance since its inception and is a recognized arts and cultural leader locally, regionally, across the state as well as nationally. She will help move the Arts Alliance forward while serving and advocating for the arts and cultural providers of Washtenaw County."

Polich has led Artrain since 1993, including its recent transition away from being based on a physical train. Artrain won the National Medal for Museum Service in 2005. Polich currently serves on the boards of ArtServe Michigan, the Michigan Arts Action Network, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Resource Development Board for the College of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Michigan University. Polich has resigned from the Arts Alliance board in order to accept the interim appointment.

Greg Rose, chair of the Artrain board, said in a prepared statement: "For more than 18 years, Deb has guided Artrain's work helping local arts organizations across the nation strengthen their operations and build capacity. Artrain's board endorses Deb's interest in sharing her expertise with the Arts Alliance."

"I believe fully in the Arts Alliance's mission to promote and advocate for arts and cultural providers and practitioners in Washtenaw County," Polich said. "People living in Washtenaw value the variety of visual and performing arts, film, science, history and other cultural programs offered here. Our arts and cultural assets help make this area a great place to live, work, learn, play and visit. The Arts Alliance is dedicated to working within the broader community to assure that this sector remains strong, vibrant and serves the region. With the guidance of the Arts Alliance board and assistance of its staff, I am ready to lead this effort for a time. I am grateful to the Artrain board for affording me this opportunity to assist the Arts Alliance."


hut hut

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

The Arts Alliance could be a leader in our local arts community if they could only convince Hieftje and Council to divert some of the Percent for Art $$ into rehabbing 415 W Washington into a public space for local artists. There's been a lot of lip service paid to doing something with 415, but for some reason the money keeps going to buying big expensive art and putting it where people don't go instead of INVESTING SEED $$ in something long term that would actually benefit local art and artists instead of the egos of art elites and the politicians who love them.