Cindy Woodbury becomes art walk director
Cindy Woodbury will become the executive director of Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk, taking over following the departure of current director Dania De Bortoli.
Woodbury will assume her new position Monday. De Bortoli will remain with the organization to oversee Woodbury’s transition into her new role. De Bortoli will move to Cedar Rapids at the end of this school year.
“I will be leaving one of the most rewarding positions I have ever had and a town I hold very dear to my heart, but I am excited about the move as it will allow my son who has a mild form of autism to have access to educational opportunities not available in southeast Iowa,” De Bortoli said. “I feel very comfortable about this transition as I have had the pleasure to work with Cindy and I find her background and work experience very impressive.”
Woodbury is the development director at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, where she has worked since November. Woodbury has held a number of positions in her career. She was a documentary photographer for 14 years, which included stops in London and West Germany.
Woodbury also held several jobs in Michigan, where she was the director of the Detroit Symphony and the event planner for Ford Motor Company. She also did development work for the University of Michigan. Prior to her arrival at the convention center, Woodbury was the Ottumwa Main Street director and the director of Ottumwa Progress, Inc.
June Lowenberg, president of the art walk board of directors, said she is excited to for the addition of Woodbury but sad to see De Bortoli go.
“We will miss Dania,” she said. “She was a superb executive director and was instrumental in creating a new level of stability for the organization. However, we are thrilled to have found an executive director with such a phenomenal work history. Cindy’s solid business background locally, nationwide and internationally, combined with her achievements in the arts, is absolutely unique.”
De Bortoli has been the director of art walk since July 2011, but her involvement in art walk goes back to 2007, when she was on the board of directors for one year.
“That’s how I became familiar with art walk,” she said. “I was involved in bringing a nonprofit organization called Art Business Institute to Fairfield to teach business to artists.”
De Bortoli and a friend of hers convinced Art Business Institute to hold a 2.5-day workshop. Some people came from as far as Texas and Florida to attend it. After organizing the workshop, De Bortoli joined the board and learned even more about art walk.
“I fell in love with art walk,” she said. “I’ve been making jewelry since I was 11. I’ve been involved in art since I was a very young child.”
De Bortoli said her main line of work has been in business but she has always created art as a hobby. She even has a part-time business as a jewelry designer.
De Bortoli said she will miss art walk very deeply once she moves to Cedar Rapids. She said her favorite part of the job was meeting all manner of interesting people.
“I loved being a part of the community and working with everyone in the community,” she said. “I loved being a part of collaborations with other organizations and creating events that benefitted a variety of people. For example, the Fairfield Public Library collaborates with art walk for the youth art event.”