Graham’s city council passed a resolution, during its monthly meeting Tuesday night (held this month remotely by Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic), praising and thanking Cary Worthy for his role as executive director of Alamance Arts, formerly known as the Alamance County Arts Council prior, to his retirement at the end of 2020 after 24½ years of service.
Meanwhile, Alamance Arts announced the name of its new executor director as Brandon Bruce, who began his duties January 4.
After a national search, Bruce emerged as the natural choice to lead Alamance Arts through the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future, according to Edna Parker, the chair of the Alamance Arts director search committee.
See earlier Alamance News story on Worthy’s retirement:
Bruce joins the 65-year-old organization to fulfill the mission to advocate, support and grow the arts in Alamance County. He brings more than 16 years of arts administration experience, having served as the executive artistic director of the Birmingham Children’s Theatre and held similar positions with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Chicago’s Strawdog and BackStage Theatres. Bruce holds an MFA in theatre from the University of Iowa and a BFA from Kent State University.
Bruce emphasized the importance of the arts: “The arts improve people’s lives. While economic impact for the county can be measured, there is also an intangible, emotional impact that arts exhibitions, arts education, and arts spaces create for people and communities,” Bruce said.
Bruce’s initial love of the arts began in high school, and he focused on acting and directing live performances through college and graduate work. “At a young age, I fell in love with the arts and couldn’t get away,” Bruce said.
Bruce and his wife, who is with the UNC Health system, currently live in Durham with plans to relocate to Alamance County this summer. He enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, is an avid cyclist, and enjoys learning piano and woodworking in his spare time.
Bruce has been working with and learning from Worthy for the past month to ensure a smooth transition. Said Worthy, “With [Bruce’s] skills, talents, knowledge and extensive background in the Arts and nonprofit field, the future of Alamance Arts will be filled with amazing accomplishments.”
“Alamance Arts is lucky that Mr. Bruce has joined its staff as the new executive director. He will continue moving it onward and upward to benefit the local community for present and future generations. The organization welcomes Mr. Bruce as he begins this journey with us,” added Frances “Lummy” Barnes, president of the board of directors for Alamance Arts.
A fixture on South Main Street in Graham for the last 24 years, Alamance Arts has brought international art exhibits to the community such as Chihuly Glass, the Art of the Brick Legos and the Seward Johnson sculpture (including Embracing Peace which is in the front yard of the Captain White House now.) The arts organization also hosts free musical concerts each summer, provides live theater to all second graders, offers art classes and camps, and supports local art groups.