Mary Lee Stotler, the new executive director of Laurel Arts, is glad to be back in Somerset County. The Stoystown native has spent the last 10 years working with nonprofits, including the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, a community revitalization program.
"I was really happy and anxious to hear this job was available," she said. Stotler's previous jobs required a lot of travel and she's happy to be able to settle down in Somerset to be near her family.
Stotler is excited to be working for Laurel Arts, an organization that has been in Somerset County since 1975. She believes her previous work with the Main Street Program at the Pennsylvania Downtown Center has helped prepare her for the work of promoting and marketing Laurel Arts as executive director.
"Arts can really help transform and impact a community," she said. "Helping the arts thrive can be a catalyst for good things to happen."
As executive director, Stotler said she wants to help the importance of art programs be recognized throughout the community. She said the arts are just as vital to students as the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes.
"Creativity and arts are so crucial, you can't be an engineer if you're not creative," she said.
Stotler, who started working at Laurel Arts last Wednesday, said she looks forward to reconnecting and meeting new members of the community at the next upcoming Laurel Arts' event, A Night at the Races. The event, which includes a silent auction and other small games of chance, will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 27 at the Somerset Country Club.
Becky Flyte, Laurel Arts Board of Directors president, said the board is working toward making the arts accessible to everyone in Somerset County. She said the organization has several events and projects planned throughout the year to fulfill this mission.
Flyte said there was an extensive search to find a suitable candidate for the position of executive director.
"Mary Lee has a broad range of experience and we're very lucky to have found her," she said. "We believe she's going to be a great addition to the community."
Laurel Arts has a lot to offer. Located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, our non-profit organization was established in 1975 and continues to serve residents, guests, and tourists alike.
Be sure to check out our events calendar for exciting year-round classes and events!
Laurel Arts is always in need of Volunteers. Please click on the image to fill out a form. Help keep the Arts alive in Somerset County!
Night at The Races - April 17
We may not be on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, but we’ll have our own Night at the Races (originally scheduled for March 27) on Friday, April 17. A $25 ticket will get you in the door and includes beverages and light hors d’oeuvres. Purchase a $40 ticket (which are limited) and you’ll also have your own horse running in one of the 10 races that evening. The horse you own comes with naming rights, so get creative.
And, speaking of creative ~ what’s a derby party without outrageous hats. Join in on the fun and, just maybe, win a prize!
Tickets for Night at the Races are available at Laurel Arts, 443-2433. Doors will open at 6:30 with food to be served at 7 p.m. Races will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Annual Golf Tournament - June 5
The 9th Annual Dorothy Dressler Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament will be Friday, June 5 at the Private Course at Indian Lake. Laurel Arts will be looking for foursomes as well as major sponsors and tee sponsors. Mark your calendars now for this event. All proceeds from the tournament are used for scholarships and provide many children with arts opportunities. Wheelbarrows of cheer will also be given away. Raffle tickets are available for purchase from Laurel Arts.
Wine Fest - July 11
Laurel Arts will partner with the Southwest Passage Wine Trail for a spectacular event Saturday, July 11 on the grounds of the Philip Dressler Center for the Arts. B & L Cellars, Christian W. Klay Winery, Glades Pike Winery, Greendance ~ The Winery at Sand Hill, Greenhouse Winery, J & D Cellars, Ripepi Winery & Vineyard and Thistlethwaite Vineyards will attend. Plans include VIP tasting sessions, artisan and specialty food vendor booths, and maybe even a craft project or two, plus entertainment. Wine Fest will kick off a weeklong celebration of summer at Laurel Arts.