The public is invited to join the Belfast Creative Coalition in welcoming the Maine Arts Commission's new director, Julie Richard, Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Clifford Gallery of Waterfall Arts, 256 High St.

The Maine Arts Commission last visited Belfast in August 2011 when it toured the arts and cultural institutions, galleries and city hall to assess Belfast’s viability for the $50,000 Creative Communities=Economic Development grant. Spearheaded by Waterfall Arts, Our Town Belfast and the City, Belfast was awarded the grant in January and created the Belfast Creative Coalition to cultivate the already vibrant creative economy of Waldo County.

On Oct. 31, the Maine Arts Commission will return and the Belfast Creative Coalition will introduce Belfast to the Maine Arts Commission’s new director. Richard most recently held the position of president & CEO of the West Valley Arts Council in the West Valley of Phoenix, Ariz. Before that, she was the executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville, S.C. She is noted for her ability to take organizations to the next level and has done that wherever she has worked. Julie earned bachelor of science degrees in psychology and music (voice) and an MA in Business (Arts Administration), all from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Donna McNeil, the previous director, also will be on hand. She is now MAC’s Arts Policy and Program Director at the Commission.

A continental breakfast and coffee will be served and there will be a presentation on the Belfast Creative Coalition's dramatic achievements over the past nine months. Following the breakfast, the Belfast Creative Coalition will introduce the new director to downtown Belfast and its bustling art scene.

All are welcome to attend and also enjoy the art on display at Waterfall Arts. For more information, contact Kimberly Callas, Belfast Creative Coalition coordinator, at kimberly@belfastcreativecoalition.org or visit belfastartsandculture.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.