Marc Courtade, the new executive director of the Huntington Arts Council, is rolling up his sleeves and getting ready to work.
Courtade follows Diana Cherryholmes as the new leader of the arts organization and officially stepped in to fill her position on March 2. Cherryholmes, who was at the helm of the Huntington Arts Council for more than 16 years, left to work for Suffolk County.
Before joining the Huntington Arts Council, Courtade was the business manager for Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post for the past 17 years.
“I am delighted to bring my skills, passion and energy to the Huntington Arts Council, and look forward to helping the arts remain a vibrant part of our community,” he said in a statement.
While at Tilles, Courtade was an integral part of the center’s performance season, where he assisted in planning and organizing many of the performances and special events. At Tilles, he also created the pre-performance series, “Performance PLUS!” while simultaneously producing and acting as artistic director for 10 years. Courtade continues to teach musical theater and opera courses for the honors program at LIU and The Hutton House Lectures at Lorber Hall.
“At the moment, I just want to help to continue the good work and move the organization forward … I’m still transitioning and working on a 50th anniversary reception,” he said in a phone interview. “This is the 50th anniversary of the concerts at Heckscher Park, so we’re currently working on finalizing that programming.”
Courtade said that the planning for the 50th anniversary of the concerts in the park is all still in the works, but he is looking to hold a small reception before the anniversary concert on June 27.
Courtade said that over the years he has given many lectures and would like to continue that while at HAC.
“I would love to begin a lecture series here, presentations about the arts,” he said. “Different art genres. I would like to tailor it across a wide variety of art genres. I would give some and I would like to have speakers from the outside as well on arts-related topics.”
While Courtade’s personal focus is in the performing arts, the Huntington Arts Council offers a wide variety of arts, including both performing and visual.
Courtade said that on April 10, HAC will be holding its opening reception of a self-portrait visual arts show entitled, “I see me!” It will be a juried show and the winners will be announced very soon, he said.
In addition to his involvement at Tilles and now at HAC, Courtade has been a speaker for the New York Council for the Humanities since 2007. He is a frequent speaker all over Long Island and the New York-area.
Before Tilles, Courtade worked in development for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and New York City Opera.