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CAC Hires New Executive Director

Davina Grace Hill assumes local arts leadership position.

Davina Grace Hill
Davina Grace Hill

The Board of Directors of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County is delighted to announce that Davina Grace Hill has been hired as its new Executive Director following a national search for qualified candidates conducted this fall. Hill will begin her service at the Cultural Arts Center in early February.

More than 70 applicants were reviewed by the CAC Search Committee, chaired by Marcita Scharnhorst who recently retired as GreyStone Power Corporation’s Vice President of Human Resources, is a former President of the arts council board, and is currently CAC’s Treasurer. The committee, which also included Bob Smith and Allen Culpepper who both have served as Board Presidents, Ray Martin who is CAC’s County Liaison and Personnel Director of Douglas County, Fred Perry who is the City of Douglasville’s Human Resources Manager, and Greg Williams, the current President of the Cultural Arts Council Board of Directors, interviewed seven candidates before selecting Hill as the most qualified for the position in Douglas County. Her hiring and her contract was unanimously approved at a CAC Board meeting on Monday, Jan. 13.

Regarding the Search Committee’s success, Board President Greg Williams commented, “I commend them for selecting the person with the outstanding qualifications for the job, for their comprehensive search for the best candidate, and for their painstaking review of every application.”

“Ms. Hill comes to us with many years of experience in the arts,” continued President Williams. “She served as the executive director of the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council in Salisbury, Maryland, for more than two decades, and then she was the executive director of the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, for six years. Ms. Hill has also worked with the National Endowment for the Humanities as an administrative assistant, the Kansas City Chapter of Young Audiences as a programs director, the Kansas City Symphony as its marketing director, the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis as its development director, and most recently as a staff member at the Horowitz Performing and Visual Arts Center in Columbia, MD.

Davina earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and Theatre from Austin College in Texas and received her master’s degree in Community Arts Management with a focus on Arts Education from the University of Illinois at Springfield.  During her interviews with the Search Committee and the Executive Committee, we found Ms. Hill insightful and intelligent, well-informed and warm, experienced and expert in the field of community arts administration. I believe we are very fortunate to have found her.”

Hill is a Scottish-American whose Scottish mother met her North Carolinian father during WWII. As a child her family lived overseas in Europe and the Middle East; then they moved to New Orleans where Hill lived until she pursued her initial arts interest in theatre at Austin College in Sherman, Texas where she received her BA with Honors in Communication Arts/Theatre in 1976.

A 1981 graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield Master's Degree program in Community Arts Management, her work experience includes Executive Director of both the Chesapeake Arts Center (for five years) and the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council (a position she held for twenty-one years), Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities (Education Division), the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Young Audiences of Kansas City, The Coterie (a children's theatre), and the Sculpture Studio.  Currently she works at the Horowitz Arts Center at Howard Community College,

Hill was a member of the Leadership Maryland class of 2003 and Leadership Anne Arundel’s Executive Leadership Series in 2010, was founding treasurer for Urban Salisbury, Inc. (a Main Street organization), past president of CAAM, the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland, the statewide assembly of community arts agencies in Maryland, and a former Arts for America regional correspondent.  She has had articles published in national books dealing with rural arts issues and for twenty years had a monthly column in The Daily Times newspaper. She also currently writes theatre reviews for The Bay Weekly. She is a past Board member of the Maryland Association of Non Profit Organizations, where she co-chaired their ethics committee and she also served on the Governor's Advisory Committee on Careers in the Arts for the Disabled and on Grants Panels for the Maryland State Arts Council and the New Jersey Arts Council.

Proud of her Celtic heritage, she shares her home with three cats who found their forever homes with her.  “Inish” (named from John Sayles great movie) honors her Celtic background, “Fais-Do-Do” (Cajun for party, good-time) honors her New Orleans roots, and “Who Dat” (sporting a gold and black coat) honors the football team that Hill saw play their very first franchise game in Tulane Stadium.  She is an avid DYI-er who revels in woodworking and painting projects and relishes trolling through flea markets and yard sales. And now she looks forward to leaning about and getting involved with the Douglasville community.

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