Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:05

Laura Herr Named Executive Director for SaratogaArtsFest

By Staff Report | Business

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The SaratogaArtsFest board of directors has named Laura K. Herr as the organization’s new executive director. An attorney, arts manager and fundraiser from Kent, Connecticut, Herr will begin her new post on September 1.

The annual SaratogaArtsFest is a four-day citywide celebration of the arts held in June at venues throughout Saratoga Springs. The 2013 festival is scheduled for June 6-9.

Herr will replace Mary Ellen O’Loughlin, who has played a leadership role in SaratogaArtsFest for four years, serving as its executive director for the past three years.

“SaratogaArtsFest has been fortunate to have Mary Ellen O’Loughlin as executive director for three years,” said Dee Sarno, chair of the organization’s board of directors. “Her leadership, dynamic personality, and community outreach have been invaluable to the development of the ArtsFest.”  

The SaratogaArtsFest executive director is the chief spokesperson for the organization and is responsible for overseeing leadership and management, festival programming and marketing, and year round promotions of the arts in the Saratoga region. ArtsFest is supported by a large base of volunteers and by affiliated organizations, including more than 40 arts partner organizations and 20 community partner organizations.

Herr comes to Saratoga Springs from the Kent School, where she has been the director of planned giving for the past three years. Prior to that she was vice president of artsAlive, a not-for-profit organization that works with the local arts community in Kent, Connecticut, to enhance art programming in the elementary schools. During 2008-09, she worked as corporate counsel for Pfizer, Inc.

Herr earned bachelor degrees in both psychology and anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2000.  She received a juris doctorate from Washington College of Law at American University in 2003.  

Said Sarno of the new appointment, “Laura Herr’s enthusiasm and passion for the arts, combined with her business background, presentation skills, and experience in building alliances, made her an obvious choice for the job. The ArtsFest board looks forward to her guidance as we move to the next level of development.”

Said Herr, “I am thrilled about moving to Saratoga Springs. My husband and I were drawn to the area because of its vibrancy; the access to so much culture is truly invigorating. The opportunity to serve as executive director of SaratogaArtsFest puts me in the center of this incredible artistic community.”  

Herr will move to Saratoga Springs with her husband and two children, ages eight and five, and two Labrador retrievers. Outside of work, her interests include the arts, writing and long-distance running.

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