Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More with Nechie Hall, the FAC's interim CEO

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM

click to enlarge “My focus is to help the board to find a really exciting and effective CEO, it’s to help re-state the importance of the arts in driving the Colorado Springs economy.” - COURTESY FAC
  • Courtesy FAC
  • “My focus is to help the board to find a really exciting and effective CEO, it’s to help re-state the importance of the arts in driving the Colorado Springs economy.”
Nechie Hall, the interim CEO of the Colorado Springs Arts Center, has a long history with the place.

She recalls going to visit it as a child with her mother. And then there was her time on the museum's center's board, between 1998 and  2004. And beyond that, she’s had a similar life-long love of art, having studied it in college, continuing on to paint in oils even today.

“Just terrible oil paintings that my mom won’t hang,” she laughs. “I wasn’t good enough to be a really great artist so I started an ad agency instead.”

Hopefully Hall can apply her obvious ad talents — her successful agency, Vladimir Jones, just added the  University of Denver and Elitch Gardens as clients — to running the ship at the FAC while the board searches for a permanent replacement. But Hall won’t simply be keeping the doors open.

“While I’m at the Fine Arts Center I want to do two things. I want to make sure that we are providing into the community the kind of dialogue that’s necessary to insure that Colorado Springs maintains an attractive quality of life for primary employers. I think that’s critical, and you can’t do that without a robust, eclectic arts scene. It’s critical to the health of our city, it provides the soul to a city.

“I know through my business career, and many years working with the EDC [now the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance] and other business organizations, that when primary employers are looking at a community, the arts scene is one of things they look at because they know its critical to attracting, and keeping, top-quality employees. And so I want to make sure that I devote the time to having the Fine Arts Center be a major player in that for the community. And be at the table to help create a strong economy. I think that’s essential.

“And then the second thing I’d like to focus on — I’ve always been on boards and while I’ve gone into private business several times to serve as an interim officer of a company during a transition time, this is the first time I’ve done it for a nonprofit, and particularly one where I’d been on the board of directors — I am looking forward to being an insider that can help determine what talents and strengths and characteristics a permanent CEO for the Fine Arts Center should have. By watching how it runs on a day to day basis will give, I hope, some unique insight.”

Hall’s position will be a full-time job, likely lasting about six months. Technically she starts Jan. 1, but only a few days after the announcement of her appointment she’s busy setting up meetings. "I’m anticipating being pretty active, starting right away,” she says, chuckling.

Not that it bothers her too terribly. Several times throughout her interview with the Indy, Hall reiterated how excited she was to get started, eager to help the FAC and apply her own interests and talents. She recalls the lead-up and construction of the FAC’s grand 2007 expansion fondly, saying it was such a charged, exciting time.

“I think that we’re on the cusp of recreating that and I think it’s important to recreate that. The Fine Arts Center should be the foundational launch pad for creative thinking and excitement and a gathering place for all of the arts in the community. And I’m hoping that we can make that happen.”

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