The Ashtabula Arts Center announces the promotion of long-time employee Meeghan Humphrey to the position of Deputy Director, adding to her title of Director of Visual Arts. Working closely with Executive Director Lori Robishaw, she will be responsible for directing the arts center’s outreach programs, maintaining the facilities, managing special events, and assisting with development. She will continue directing the Visual Arts Department, which includes the curation and oversight of monthly exhibitions in the allery and management of the permanent collection.
“When I took this job two years ago, I was very fortunate in having immediate access to Meeghan’s wise counsel and sense of history regarding the arts center’s place in the community,” said Robishaw. “Her skill set is the ideal mix of inventiveness and practicality to help me advance the management facets of the arts center to the level of its artistic and educational work.”
Humphrey holds a BA in Art History from Oberlin College and was first hired at the arts center in 1992 as the Visual Arts Coordinator. During her tenure, she has planned and taught thousands of classes, as well as contributed her talents to the Dance and Theater Departments via painting sets and making costumes and props. “Meeghan is a wonderful teaching artist, and my only regret is that these new management responsibilities will take her out of the classroom more often than she or I would like,” said Robishaw. “She is beloved by her students and sets a great example for them, but her new role will benefit the arts center tremendously going forward, in both a creative and organizational capacity.”
Humphrey and her family have long been involved with the arts center. “Meeghan essentially grew up here, taking classes and performing in shows since she was a teenager,” said Robishaw.
Rosemary Humphrey, Meeghan’s mother, worked there for nearly 20 years coordinating administrative duties, and Meeghan’s husband Ralph Bacon is a well-known local artist who is part of the visual arts faculty, as well as an actor in dance and theater productions. Humphrey met Bacon at the cast party for the arts center’s 1982 production of Fiddler on the Roof, in which Bacon had a role, along with Humphrey’s mother and brother. Humphrey and Bacon got married in the art gallery, and their sons Connor and Garrett spent many hours taking arts classes as children. Now grown, they remain involved as performers and backstage crew members.
Regarding her promotion, Humphrey says, “I am very excited by this new opportunity to be involved with the arts center on a broader scale and look forward to further engaging with county residents on projects of impact as we expand our programming and reach new audiences.”