Denali Arts Council’s executive director resigns

By Laura Wright–More changes have come to non-profits in Talkeetna with the recent resignation of Denali Arts Council Executive Director, Joellen Bye.  Bye was hired last spring and served as the Director until she tendered her resignation effective on September 9th. The DAC board called a special meeting on September 5th and hired Colleen Love as Interim Executive Director. Love, who was a finalist for the position last spring, will work until April 1st 2012. In the meantime the board will convene a new hiring committee and go through the process again.

Bye worked at the DAC for the summer but said, “Her heart was not there….it was across the street at the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum.  In a story aired by KTNA last spring, Bye said that she was offered the position at the museum as the curator and site manager one-day after she accepted the position with the Arts Council. She honored her acceptance of the job at the DAC but also became a board member for the Talkeetna Historical Society. Bye’s background and first love is museums, having worked in one for the past 30 years in Indiana.

Bye said that she and the other Historical Society board members worked hard this summer to get things straightened out after former manager Michael Kelly’s death and to get the museum up and running for the summer tourist season. The board did not fill the museum curator/site manager position and may not have the money to do so. They have a meeting next week and will look at their financial situation. However Bye, who is the current board president, said she is happy to volunteer her services. She looks forward to working in a museum setting again and is looking for ways to fundraise for the museum since the loss of the Moose Dropping Festival. The Talkeetna Historical Society has three exhibit buildings and owns six buildings throughout downtown. The next board meeting is Wednesday September 21, 8:00 PM at the Museum’s Mountaineering Exhibit building.

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