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ArtWorks! Gwinnett names its executive director

Sally Corbett

Sally Corbett

The ArtWorks! Gwinnett board of directors has named Sally Corbett as the new executive director to help the nonprofit organization move forward with its mission.

ArtWorks! -- which was started in 2008 -- strives to promote Gwinnett's art offerings and culture to enhance the county's quality of life. The board of directors saw a need to hire someone to help with the day-to-day details.

"ArtWorks! Gwinnett is an organization that seeks to build support and visibility for the art organizations and artists of Gwinnett county, and at this point we are sort of in the beginning stages of (developing) the specific initiative," Corbett said. "That's a big part of my initial job here, to get out in the community, find out what the needs are, and then develop the initiatives with the help of the board and other volunteers. But we know that, definitely, a big part of the focus will be to try to raise the visibility, the public profile and public participation, and the arts and then also to seek funding for the arts in the county."

The organization is an independent initiative that branched from the Chamber of Commerce's Partnership Gwinnett, which strives to promote businesses, education and quality of life.

Caryn McGarity, ArtWorks! board co-chair, said the board of directors is thrilled to have Corbett on board because of her extensive public relations background.

Corbett is the former manager of communications for the High Museum of Art and she spent more than nine years with Emory University's arts program.

"I accepted this because I think that Gwinnett does have a great arts community and does have a great story to tell and has quite a few assets that the community should be proud of," Corbett said. "I want to encourage the citizens to come out and enjoy the arts organizations that are here, but also to encourage more visitors, especially people from the surrounding communities to come to Gwinnett."

Corbett said she hopes to see the arts community reputation grow and be viewed as rich, diverse and vital to the future of Gwinnett and she is excited about the organizations future.

"It's just starting up, (Corbett is) the only employee, she's the first hire, so it's going to take some time for her to evolve it and grow it, and we knew she had the perfect qualifications, and we have a lot of confidence in her that she's going to be able to take this to the next level," McGarity said. "It's going to take time, especially in this economy, but she can come in and rally the Aurora Theatre, and the Hudgens Center for the Arts, and Gwinnett Ballet, all these different art groups and different cultural arts groups can all be a part of this whole initiative, so it's kind of like the umbrella organization for everything."