Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council
After 19 years at the Monmouth County Arts Council — 17 of them as Executive Director —Mary Eileen Fouratt (pictured right) will be stepping down to take a position with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Fouratt, who first served as Community Arts Director in 1997, became Executive Director in 1999 when the Monmouth County Arts Council and Count Basie Theatre separated into two nonprofit entities.
Fouratt’s tenure has seen unprecedented growth for Monmouth Arts, including the development of the award-winning Monmouth County Arts Plan “Envision, Imagine, Create,” and the MoCo Arts Corridor, a creative placemaking and marketing initiative. She led the MCAC’s response to Hurricane Sandy, ArtHelps, and under her leadership Monmouth Arts has received a Citation of Excellence from the New Jersey State Council every year since 2006.
“Her dedication to expanding the reach and voice of arts throughout Monmouth County has changed the face of this area forever and we are forever thankful for her efforts,” said Monmouth Arts Chair Kathy Donnelly in a statement. “She will be deeply missed.”
Fouratt is the past chair of the statewide arts advocacy group ArtPride NJ, and has served on the board of Red Bank RiverCenter. She is past chair and a founding member of the Red Bank Visitors Center, and past president of the Association of New Jersey Cultural and Historic Agencies. She was appointed to the Gateway National Park Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee in 2012; sits on Americans for the Arts Private Sector Network Council, and is one of three recipients of the Count Basie Theatre’s inaugural Vanguard Awards in 2014.
As Fouratt said in a statement, “the excitement I have for this new opportunity is tempered by the difficulty in stepping away from such a great organization, the incredible team I have had the privilege to work with, the wonderful board members who give their time to support the arts, all the foundation, corporate, government and individual leaders who make our work possible, and of course the incredible artists, arts organizations and creative businesses that make Monmouth County so vibrant.”
The Monmouth Arts Board of Trustees has appointed Patricia Hassenkamp (pictured left), Director of Finance and Administration, as Acting Executive Director upon Mary Eileen Fouratt’s departure in mid-September. The board has formed a search committee to identify the next leader of Monmouth Arts. Once the job listing is posted. interested candidates will have the opportunity to apply for the position.