Port Townsend's Northwind Arts Center hires its first executive director

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — For the first time, the Northwind Arts Center, a nonprofit venue for visual art exhibitions, poetry readings and other events, has hired an executive director.

Michael D'Ales­sandro, also owner of the Bedouin Books press, is the center's part-time chief thanks to an anonymous $30,000 donation, he said earlier this month.

That's just the seed money, and “it's a big step for the organization,” D'Alessandro acknowledged.

“I'm charged with making it a permanent position,” he said.

Job description

His 20 hours a week will include community outreach, fundraising and increasing sales of art on display at the center, just off Sims Way at 2409 Jefferson St.

D'Alessandro is Northwind's sole paid employee. The center works with contractors for bookkeeping and facilities management.

He moved to Port Townsend last January after living in Hawaii and Portland, Ore., where he was community resource coordinator and development assistant for the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

An architect for 12 years before earning his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., D'Alessandro is also the founder of Bedouin Books.

The 11-year-old company, which D'Alessandro calls a micro-press, produces about five volumes of poetry and prose per year.

Also a writer, D'Alessandro plans to offer programs at Port Townsend's Writers' Workshoppe this summer.

'Could not be happier'

“We selected Michael from among many qualified candidates. We could not be happier,” Jeanette Best, president of Northwind's board, said in a news release.

D'Alessandro will work with some 100 volunteers, including the board of directors. Northwind volunteers keep the gallery open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays, while the Northwind Reading Series brings poets from across the Northwest to share their work, usually twice a month.

For more information, visit www.northwindarts.org or phone the center at 360-379-1086.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 29. 2014 7:51PM
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