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Clay Center board looking for new members

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Board of Directors of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences is "actively looking" for new members as several board members' terms come to a close.

The board elected some new officers and board members at a meeting Wednesday.

Continuing as chairwoman, Ellen Cappellanti welcomed Lloyd Jackson as first executive vice chairman, Virginia King as secretary and John Elliot as vice chairman representing the West Virginia Symphony. Chuck Avampato was elected to another term as treasurer.

New members of the board include Tom Kittredge of Terradon Corporation, House of Delegates member Doug Skaff and lawyer Richard M. Wallace of Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC.

Nominating committee chairman Tom Heywood said the board needs to prepare for the exodus of several original board members as their terms end next year.

"We are actively looking for replacements," Heywood said. Many board members have served the maximum nine years allowed on the board, and the center will celebrate its 10th year in 2013.

Avampato reported that the financial outlook for the close of fiscal year 2012 is bright.

"We will achieve budget and even have a slight surplus," he said. He stressed that the organization must continue to seek new sources of funding as the money from the Clay Foundation, which closed its doors this year, will run out in June 2013.

Clay Center President Judy Wellington has signed a new, five-year contract to lead the center through 2017. She highlighted the various events and exhibits and programs that were important in the past year, including the Steely Dan concert -- which sold more tickets than any other concert -- and the series of concerts by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., which were the fastest-selling events.

She pointed to the 21st Century Community Learning Center as receiving two grants totaling $347,000 to continue working with middle school youth in Boone County. The Clay Community Arts music program will continue in five counties around the state providing musical lessons and instruments to students.

Acquisitions committee chairwoman Fonda Elliot presented six works to be voted on for inclusion into the center's permanent collection. By unanimous vote, works by Eleanor Schaul, Emmi Whitehorse, Constance DeJong, Rose B. Simpson, Fred Messersmith and Patrick Nagatani were accepted by the board. The Collector's Club, which celebrated its twenty-fifth year this year, was responsible for bringing several of the pieces to the center.

Reach Sara Busse at sara.busse@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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