Richard Baker is an asset to The Center for the Arts |

Richard Baker is an asset to The Center for the Arts

Have you noticed how much The Center for the Arts has changed over the past several years? I sure have. It’s grown in size, stature and quantity and quality of its programs. And recently there was a change in leadership, when former President of the Board of Directors, Jon Blinder, passed his president’s gavel to Richard Baker.

I moved to Nevada County in May 2001 and immediately noticed the ugly purple building on West Main Street in Grass Valley. When I first walked into The Center, I wasn’t very impressed-hey, I was from San Francisco. But then I attended some programs and was blown away by how good they were.

So I decided to donate to The Center’s “Front and Center” campaign, aimed to revitalize its façade, and began volunteering to help out at events. And then, in spring ’06, I joined its Board of Directors.

During these past two years, I’ve learned the mechanics of how the board works as well as watched how the various personalities on the board mesh. To me, it was a given for Richard to take over as president in April 2008, as he is liked by everyone on the board, has a manner that is inquiring yet respectful of others, and understands how businesses are run. That’s because he is an owner of Siteline Architecture in Nevada City and is a co-owner of Julie Baker Fine Art. Additionally, as a fifth generation Nevada County resident, Richard has that instinctive feel for what plays well in this area, in terms of The Center’s programming, fundraising and personal relationships.

I was aware from the beginning of my tenure on the board that Richard has a deep affection for The Center. And now it’s even more obvious, since he spends numerous hours intimately involved with both the important and mundane issues needed to keep The Center functioning. And The Center is obviously functioning very well-recent focus group interviews indicated that the community is very enthused about The Center and what it does for Nevada County.

The board, under Richard’s leadership, has developed a strategic plan to help The Center move forward and grow productively during the next several years. I have no doubt that Richard will capably assist the board to implement that strategic plan so that in five years, I can write another article about how The Center has efficiently and successfully grown even more in scope, quality and service to its community.

Hindi Greenberg doesn’t feel she misses a thing by not living in San Francisco-she can get almost all the culture she needs in Nevada County, including a big dose of happenings at The Center for the Arts. Come see for yourself!

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