Area arts center names new executive director


CLINTON — Kirkland Art Center, 9 1/2 E. Park Row, has named David Fitzgerald as executive director, following a search by the Board of Trustees. 

Fitzgerald brings more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including his recent work as executive director of The Wish Project, a small organization dedicated to helping homeless and low-income families, and more than 10 years prior to that as a non-profit executive with Boy Scouts of America, serving the central New York and greater Boston area.

Born and raised in New Hartford, he earned a bachelor’s of arts in Theatre from SUNY Oswego and continues to appreciate the arts through nature photography and live music, he said. 

“We were very impressed by the great passion and energy that David brings to his service in the non-profit sector and combined with his skills and experience in fund-raising, strategic planning, and volunteer management, he is well positioned to take up this leadership role with the Kirkland Art Center during the 60th anniversary year of the organization. We are delighted to have him on board,” said Mark Landrey, board treasurer. 

Due to COVID budget constraints, the art center has had limited staff. Volunteers have kept some key programs going through the pandemic including the ballet program, the exhibition series, and the new Snowed-In Artist-in-Residence program.

“It is thanks to strong community support as well as state and local funding agencies that we are able to hire a new executive director, and we are excited to have David in the position,” said Damhnait McHugh, board president. 

With his appointment, Fitzgerald will work to bring back full programming to the art center as soon as public health conditions allow. He joins the art center just as the organization plans for a capital campaign to replace the roof of the 1841 building on the Village Green in Clinton and to build a culinary arts facility.  

“I am very humbled and honored to be chosen to be the next executive director of the Kirkland Art Center,” said Fitzgerald. “This organization has helped arts in the community thrive, it has stood the test of time and has served our community for over 60 years. I look forward to helping them continue their mission for 60 more.” 

Upcoming events at the Kirkland Art Center include a free series of online gigs supported by CNY Arts, KAC Live from the Gallery, with Leeky XIV on Wednesday, April 14, at 8 p.m.; Seth Owen Becker on May 12; and Steph Steele & Friends on June 16.

The annual KAC Run & Walk will be held on Saturday, June 5. A new exhibition, Vital Gestures, is available for online viewing at and for in-person visits in the Gallery on Saturdays through April 25, with masks, distancing and limited capacity. The exhibition is free and is wheelchair accessible.

In its 60th year, the KAC is a regional multi-arts community organization. The mission of the KAC is to educate children and adults, to advocate for artists and the arts, and to engage the community in a range of cultural experiences and opportunities.


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