IS183 Art School Names Executive Director

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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — IS183 Art School's Board of Directors has named Lucie Castaldo permanent executive director after four months serving in the interim position.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have an internal candidate of such high quality with such an extensive history serving the organization," said Andy Foster, chairman of the board. "Lucie cares so much about our programs, teachers and students and this engagement is infectious. She brings both continuity and – as we can already see a few months in – a raft of new ideas and approaches that will strengthen our service to the Berkshires. With a strong team in place surrounding her, IS183 is well-set to move forward."

Castaldo has a long history with IS183 Art School, beginning as an art camper not long after IS183, then Interlaken School of Art, first opened its doors in 1991. Since then, she has been involved in all facets of the organization's programming, interning as a summer teaching assistant, teaching adults and children in IS183's studio and outreach programs, and leading as associate program director.

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and its Teacher Licensure Program, Castaldo brings her expertise in art education to IS183's teaching artist community. She led the development IS183's Teaching Institute Program offering current and future arts educators a solid foundation for a variety of classroom settings, a program which is proud to have graduated two Pittsfield Public School art educators.

Castaldo's work on exhibits and residencies raises the profile of artists in our community, while providing experiences for public access to local art. Castaldo has curated several large scale art exhibits with IS183, most occurring in non-traditional spaces in Stockbridge, Williamstown and Pittsfield.

She fervently believes that "art is for everyone," and relishes the opportunity to bring the studio art experience to the Berkshire County community.

"The opportunity to view, appreciate, and make art is a critical human need," she said, and one that she has worked to ensure is accessible to all residents.

IS183's diverse studio offerings, from ceramics and painting to jewelry design and screenprinting – and so much more – allow residents of all ages to engage in life-enhancing art making opportunities. Throughout her tenure at IS183, Castaldo has strived to ensure this meaningful programming is accessible to everyone in our community, securing grants that enable IS183 to offer scholarships and free programming to those who would otherwise have barriers to making art.  Castaldo's vision for the future involves the continuation of dynamic classes beloved by IS183 students, the introduction of new mediums and class offerings, and rejuvenated studio spaces in which students can fully immerse themselves in in the creative experiences IS183 offers.

In addition to IS183's year-round arts programming for adults, IS183 is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Learning Through Arts (LTA) program, launched in 2007. This county-wide program brings the benefits of hands on art-making directly to the classrooms of K-12 grade students throughout the Berkshires. Castaldo played a lead role in developing early curriculum and program standards and in 2012 joined IS183 full-time as Program Coordinator to further grow Learning Through Arts. Under her watch, IS183 has become the leading provider of standards-based arts engagement programs for youth in Berkshire County, offering after-school and summer programs to over 1,200 children and youth each year.

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