Friday, October 23, 2020

Tamaqua Arts Center Director Announces Resignation

After eight years leading the Tamaqua Community Arts Center (www.tamaquaarts.org), Leona Rega, Arts Center Director, resigned her position to tackle new challenges in Gettysburg.

Leona joined the Tamaqua Arts Center in 2012 and helped transform the facility from an all-volunteer, upstart center into a state-of-the-art regional center for the performing and fine arts.

“Leona took the reins and built one of the finest community arts centers you’ll find anywhere,” said Micah Gursky, Director of the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership, the parent organization of the center. “Her leadership made the center what it is today and she will be missed.”

Leona will continue her work promoting the arts as she moves to her new position as Executive Director of the Adams County Arts Council headquartered in Gettysburg.

“It’s hard to leave the Tamaqua community, my hometown, and the arts center,” said Rega, but there is such a strong spirt and support for the arts, I’m certain the center will continue to be a special place for the community.”

Leona helped the Tamaqua Arts Center become a nationally recognized leader in creative placemaking with unique community engagement projects such as Dear Tamaqua, Tamaqua Has Heart, Tamaqua Raw Aspirations, Tamaqua Escape Room, and the Choose Happiness Mural. She also led the Tamaqua Safety Initiative that helped make the center of Tamaqua a safer place with initiatives like Tamaqua’s first National Night Out and the transformation of the former Tiki Bar into the Tiki Rehearsal Studio. She served as a facilitator for Strengthening Families, a program to help families develop communication and decision-making skills—giving parents and children the skills to resist negative peer pressures. At the arts center, Leona helped to organize more than 1,000 classes, show, lessons, and events each year.

Leona oversaw the dramatic changes of the Arts Center facility as well. “Transforming the former Methodist Church on Pine Street into a state-of-the-art performance and teaching center took years,” added Leona. “So many generous donors helped to create the Art Gallery, The Stitch Performance Hall, and the ClayWorks Studio.”

During the COVID-19 shutdown this spring, Leona was a popular host of innovative weekly online social media art auctions that kept artists and art-lovers engaged in the center despite the mandatory shut downs.

Gursky looked back with admiration for Leona’s work, “There was a public meeting in 2012 to talk about what the center could be and most people thought it could never happen. Leona made those dreams come true,” he said. “For many people, the arts center was the first place they painted, threw clay, performed on stage, or exhibited their art. Tamaqua’s now known as a community that loves and appreciates the arts.”

Although Leona will be missed and the arts center will not be the same without her, the volunteers, instructors and patrons of the center know she is leaving an ever-lasting mark on the center.

“She has a great opportunity for continued success in Adams County,” concluded Gursky. “She is an exceptional talent and Tamaqua is fortunate to have benefited from her work.”

“There are children and teenagers who don’t remember Tamaqua without an arts center.” concluded Rega. “I’ll always be happy knowing I was part of making that happen.”

For more information about the Tamaqua Community Arts Center go to www.tamaquaarts.com.

To make a leave a message or donation in honor of Leona and her service visit https://tacp.networkforgood.com/projects/112149-donate-to-honor-the-work-of-leona-rega.

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