Two organizations devoted to Cary’s arts and cultural scene have new leaders.
Liz McDonald is the new general manager of Koka Booth Amphitheatre, the Town of Cary announced Wednesday. She replaces Becky Colwell, who was recently appointed general manager of The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Cary Visual Art, which coordinates works for local galleries and the town’s outdoor sculptures, has named Catherine Howard as its executive director. She replaces Mary Davis Wallace, who had been with the organization since 2013.
Booth Amphitheatre is owned by the town of Cary but is managed by SMG. The venue has had two consecutive record-setting seasons in producing revenue, thanks to sellout shows of national acts, the popular N.C. Symphony Summerfest and a mix of local programs showcasing the area’s diversity. The town approved in October a budget of $610,000 for next season, which will include 13 national concerts.
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McDonald previously was the facility director at SMG theater venues in Jacksonville, Fla. She is a graduate of Enloe High School and has performed in area theater productions, including the inaugural season of the North Carolina Theatre, according to a news release.
McDonald was selected after a search within SMG and the facility management industry, the release said.
“My lifetime love of the arts began by being part of the Triangle cultural community,” McDonald said in a news release. “It is a thrilling opportunity to return to the area to manage such a beautiful venue that means so much to the community.”
Howard comes to Cary Visual Art from the Durham Arts Council, where she served as the interim artist services manager.
“I’m really excited to be on board,” said Howard, who started in mid-December. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the Cary community better and to see how we can make the arts a platform to bring us all closer together.”
In addition to overseeing three public galleries, she will also manage public art workshops and the Young Cary Artists Scholarships program. She said she hopes to grow those programs as well as amp up programs for underserved communities.
She has a background in contemporary African art history and art education for children with disabilities. She has managed arts festivals, curated exhibits and worked on international public art projects, according to a news release.