Horst and Saxton to leave Coleman Center

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2005

For the last few years there have been a lot of smiling faces in the city of York. That is mostly due to the hard work of Coleman Center for the Arts Directors Richard Saxton and Amy Horst. However, this week there is a somber tone as two of the best friends the city has ever had announced they would be moving on.

Last week the Board of Directors at York’s Coleman Center for Art and Culture regretfully accepted the resignation of directors Amy Horst and Richard Saxton. While this was a sad moment, it also gave the board time for reflection on some of the positive things that have happened since the two came to town.

Board member John Brown said they knew this time would come and feel privileged just to have had them for the two years they were there.

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“While we are sad to see them go, we knew from the beginning that people of their caliber were not here to stay,” Brown said.

“Personally, I wish they could have stayed longer, but I can understand Amy having to leave – she has an incredible job opportunity in Wisconsin.

We wish them both Godspeed and are confident we will be hearing great things from them both in the future! We are very proud of the fact that they have been a part of the Coleman Center.”

The difference they have made to the Center in two short years is staggering.

Among their many accomplishments are orchestrating the gift and renovation of three abandoned buildings for use by the Coleman Center, created a permanent, community based, Artist-in-Residence Program, professionally organized the basic infrastructure of the organization, facilitated board development and a strategic planning process, created collaborations and partnerships with organizations including the City of York, University of West Alabama, Design Alabama, Kentuck Museum Association, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and other local, regional and national organizations.

The visibility and reputation of the center have greatly increased with statewide media appearances, including a PBS feature documentary currently under production.

Horst said their stay at the Coleman Center has been a joy. She added though she is moving on she will never forget her friends in Sumter County

“I can speak for both Richard and myself when I say that out time at the Coleman Center has been an incredible, life-changing experience,” Horst said. “We have given a large part of ourselves to the community and we will always remain huge advocates of the center.

We hope that we will be able to help the Coleman Center and the City of York from afar and continue to bring creativity to the area.”

Horst said one of their goals has always been exposure for and exposure to their local artists.

“We have just been trying to bring in a lot of art from out of the area as well as getting some exposure to our local artists,” Horst said. “We have really been trying to give everyone a look at a lot of different things.”

The Coleman Center Board of Directors will be conducting a search for a new director immediately.

For more information about the Coleman Center for Art and Culture you may call (205) 392-2005.