Erie Arts & Culture Slated to Launch Search for the Art Agency’s Next Executive Director
Patrick Fisher, the current Executive Director, announced transition and timeline at the November Board Meeting
Erie Arts & Culture is the regional art agency serving six counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie, Warren, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, and Lawrence. The organization was founded in 1960 as the Arts Council of Erie and was the first arts agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Patrick Fisher, Erie Arts & Culture’s current Executive Director, was hired in 2018. Under his leadership, the agency embarked on an ambitious strategic plan starting in 2019.
Fisher’s timeline for his position never extended beyond five years. Knowing that, in March of 2022, he completed a comprehensive succession and transition plan, which the Board adopted in May. The plan includes a 16-week timeline for transition, which will begin starting January 2, 2023. Fisher’s last day serving in the role of Executive Director will be April 28, 2023.
Erie Arts & Culture’s Board of Trustees is in the process of building two formal bodies to assist with Fisher’s succession, including a Transition Committee and a Search Committee. Bryan Timm, who has been a Trustee of Erie Arts & Culture’s Board since 2019, will serve as the Chair of the Transition Committee. Timm and Fisher will work collaboratively over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition.
The role of the Transition Committee includes assessing organizational readiness, creating a desired candidate profile, supervising the overall search process, participating in all face-to-face interviews, and making recommendations to the Board regarding final candidates. The role of the Search Committee includes ensuring the job posting is broadly and appropriately distributed, participating in the initial screening and review of resumes, determining which candidates qualify for interviews, selecting standardized questions for interviews, and assuring adherence to desired timeline for search activities. Because Fisher’s departure from Erie Arts & Culture is planned and on good terms, he has agreed to assist in the search and onboarding of the next Executive Director to any extent the Board of Trustees sees fit.
Regarding his succession, Fisher states: “When I was hired to join Erie Arts & Culture as the Executive Director, the Board and I jointly saw an opportunity to implement a strategic shift to improve our relevance and impact in the community. We underwent work to position ourselves to play a meaningful role in Erie's renaissance. This required us to examine our processes, policies, and programs - all with optimal service to the community in mind. When I interviewed with the Search Committee in 2018, I communicated that I envisioned a five-year timeline for myself in the role. It is now time for me to step aside and allow someone else to strategically contribute to molding EAC into the best, most effective version of the organization. I'm extremely proud of what EAC has accomplished under my leadership. While I served as the Disruptor, I believe the next leader can serve as the Consensus Builder. Caring deeply about EAC, its mission, and the community it serves, I want to position the organization for a healthy succession that enables the staff and Board to continue their important work without losing community goodwill and trust.”
Erie Arts & Culture is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees, for which Tauna Hunter serves as Chair. Regarding what Erie Arts & Culture has accomplished under Fisher’s leadership, Tauna states “During the past four years, Patrick has acted as a strong spokesperson and advocate for Erie Arts & Culture. He modernized the organization’s vision by endorsing a clear strategic plan that focused on conveying a strong voice for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He has built notable community constituents and brought local, regional, and national visibility to the agency.” Additionally, Hunter shared the following regarding Fisher’s forthcoming departure from Erie Arts & Culture and the agency’s future, “Patrick has developed a thoughtful and comprehensive plan for succession. He will continue to work with the Board and his talented and passionate team to ensure a smooth transition. The Board is grateful for the impact he has made on our community and we’ll miss the passionate energy he bestows on promoting and supporting the arts. Upon his departure, Erie Arts & Culture wishes him a bright and successful future.”
We invite you to use the arrows below to read a few slides about EAC's Accomplishments from 2018 to present.