By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer
Joel Aalberts, of Normal, Ill., was chosen Wednesday to be the EKU Center for the Arts’ next executive director.
He was unanimously approved by the center’s community operations board and confirmed by EKU President Doug Whitlock.
Agreement by the board and the university was required by a memorandum of understanding between the two parties.
Board Chair Harry Moberly said it was clear that Aalberts was the right man for the job.
“This search, which started with 91 people, reached an amazing consensus,” Moberly said. “With respect to Mr. Aalberts, his qualities were apparent when he visited.”
Aalberts has 19 years of experience in arts management, including work with performing arts centers associated with the University of Arizona, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan and Dartmouth College. Prior to his appointment at EKU, he ran the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts in central Illinois.
Whitlock, who is in Washington D.C. with Commerce Lexington for the annual Washington Fly-In, sent word of his approval for the decision through Marc Whitt, EKU public relations director.
Whitt said Whitlock had the opportunity to meet with Aalberts and the other finalist for the position, Bruce Marquis, when they each visited the campus last week.
“Doug wished to congratulate Joel Aalberts, and he knows he’ll do a good job,” Whitt said.
Aalberts has described the EKU Center as an “amazing facility” with “so much promise.” He said when he visited last week that he would commit to spending at least 13 years in Richmond to provide a stable environment for his 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.
Seth Littrell can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6623.