BCRAC celebrates new centuries, new leadership
As the Bradford County Regional Arts Council (BCRAC) celebrates new centuries of operation for its three historic theatres, the Board of Directors is also pleased to announce a recent change in organizational leadership. Beginning June 1, 2012, founding Executive Director Brooks Eldredge-Martin has semi-retired to the position of Director Emeritus, while Elaine Poost moves from Associate Director to the organization’s Executive Director.
“The BCRAC Board is extremely grateful to Brooks for the leadership he has provided in creating this organization and restoring our three historic theatres. Without him and his vision, none of this would have been possible,” stated Henry Dunn, BCRAC Board President. “We are excited that Elaine will be taking over as Executive Director and continuing the BCRAC tradition. As our three theatres celebrate anniversaries taking them into their second century of operation, Elaine will be faced with new challenges and opportunities, and we can think of no one better to lead us into the future.”
Brooks Eldredge-Martin was hired as BCRAC’s first employee on January 1,1988 with support from the PA Council on the Arts (PCA) and the Borough of Towanda. Eldredge-Martin led the organization through its purchase of the Keystone Theatre later that same year, the purchase of the Rialto Theatre in 1993, and the purchase of the Sayre Theatre in 1995. Eldredge-Martin was key in developing relationships with the PCA, which resulted in BCRAC becoming a “partner” with the PCA for two of its regional re-granting programs.
Other notable accomplishments under Eldredge-Martin’s leadership include: selection as a host site for the National Millenium Project “Artists & Communities: America Creates for the Millennium”; construction of the second cinema and rehearsal space at the Keystone Theatre in 2001; selection as an “International Model for Early Arts Programming” in 2004; purchase of the Washington Street Station in 2004; recipient of the 2006 Governor’s Award for Leadership in Arts in Education; recipient of the first-ever Americans for the Arts “Arts in Education” Award in 2007; and several semi-finalist designations in the Presidential Coming Up Taller Awards between 2007 and 2009.
“The BCRAC and an extraordinary team of volunteers, donors, and community members have helped improve the quality of life in Bradford County over the past 24 years. It has been a very exciting part of my life,” Eldredge-Martin expressed.
“As I look at changes that are now upon the BCRAC – century old facilities converting to digital communications and projection – I am pleased to have such a strong team assuming leadership of the BCRAC. In addition to a passion for the arts fueled by talented family members, Elaine Poost brings over a decade of BCRAC experience and a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College to the BCRAC leadership. She will work alongside a strong board, staff and a network of community support. I can’t wait to see what future directions this team finds for our community facilities and programs.”
As Eldredge-Martin moves in to the role of Director Emeritus, Elaine Poost steps in to the role of Executive Director. Poost has worked in various capacities with BCRAC since 2000, including Keystone Theatre movie employee and theatre manager as well as Live Performances Program Director and most recently as Associate Director. She received her BA in Child and Society from Keystone College, and her Masters of Arts Administration from Goucher College, Baltimore, Md. A Michigan native, she moved to Pennsylvania in 1988 with her husband, Chris, where they have raised six children on the Poost family farm near Wyalusing. Elaine is a member of the American Association of University Women and Phi Theta Kappa.
“I am honored to takeover the helm of the Bradford County Regional Arts Council and the stewardship of the Bradford County’s three magnificent historical theatres from Brooks Eldredge-Martin. Each of these theatres are set to mark significant milestones, and, had it not been for the vision of Brooks, these beautiful buildings and the history they represent may have been lost to future generations,” stated Poost.
“For the movies and local movie theatres, now is a time of tumultuous change and challenges and the Arts are continually threatened with public extinction of funding. These challenges devolve upon us the incredible opportunity to imagine and create a vibrant future for the Arts in Bradford County and to keep these theatres alive. We, and I speak on behalf of the entire BCRAC staff and board, are prepared to meet that future.”
At its May 2012 Board of Directors meeting, the BCRAC recognized the past leadership of Eldredge-Martin and named the Board Room’s “sticky board” in his honor – the sticky board is a brainstorming tool that Eldredge-Martin brought to BCRAC, was very fond of, and utilized at meetings for BCRAC and the community at-large.
The BCRAC, established in 1976, is a regional non-profit organization committed to the promotion and support of the arts and culture. For more information, visit BCRAC online at www.bcrac.org or www.facebook.com/BCRAC.