New Executive Director Looks to Evolve Role of the Albany Arts Council

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Nicole Williams joined the Albany Area Arts Council as executive director on May 1 with the aspiration of "making the town I've chosen to live in an even better place." With a husband who is an art professor at Albany State University, Williams has always been very involved in the local arts scene even as she worked in the private mental health field for the past eight years.

"I have a lot of connections in the art community and was familiar with the Albany Area Arts Council; with my experience running the business portion of a medical practice, the move to the executive director position made sense for me," Williams said.

The Closest Thing to an Art Gallery in Albany
Her first month on the job was spent preparing for the regional art show in June, an all-hands-on-deck assignment. The show provides area artists with a large-scale public forum to show their work. All entry fees are then awarded to artists with the winning art pieces in the show.

"My next month I focused on cleaning and organizing the Carnegie Library, the wonderful space that houses the Arts Council," Williams said.

"We're really the caretakers of this great property, which is a wonderful event venue that is available for incredibly competitive rates."

The library is also home to a monthly local arts show, which features an opening reception on the first Thursday of every month. It's really the closest thing Albany has to an art gallery, according to Williams.

A Council in Transition
The mission of the Albany Area Arts Council is to encourage, sponsor and support the arts and culture in the Albany community. With this in mind, Williams is turning her attention to the future of the Arts Council.

“I look forward to finding more ways that the Arts Council can effectively assist in educating the public about arts and culture," Williams said.

"Maintaining a space where community members can gain exposure to the arts and information about local arts and culture resources is key, but my aim is a little higher than that. I hope to see our citizens truly realize the positive effects of a thriving artistic and cultural community.”

"We'll continue to play a public relations role for our member organizations and hold the regional and local art shows. My next step is to meet with people throughout the community to better understand how we can make the council more relevant to Albany."

One possibility is for the council to proactively bring more art performances of all kinds to Albany on a quarterly or yearly basis. For example, the council recently brought the Vienna Boys Choir to perform in Albany.

"With the help of our sponsors, the Albany performance tickets were much less expensive than they were for the Atlanta performance. I understand we had more people come to see the Vienna Boys Choir in Albany than Atlanta,” Williams said.

More information on the Albany Arts Council is available at or call 229-439-2787.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.