Abington Art Center Names New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Abington Art Center is pleased to announce that Betsy Kilkenny has been named Executive Director. Ms. Kilkenny will lead the organization in its efforts to create arts and cultural offerings for the community.  Kilkenny is a seasoned arts executive who has provided leadership and development skills for nonprofit organizations for more than ten years.   She takes on the Executive Director position with extensive experience in the development and management of Abington Art Center, having served as Director of Development for the past five years.

Ms. Kilkenny is succeeding Laura Burnham who is stepping down after 25 years of heading the active nonprofit, which offers four indoor galleries, year-round educational programming and classes, a 27-acre Sculpture Park and community space for artists and families. Since its founding in 1939, Abington Art Center, has become one of Abington’s cultural gems.

Ms. Kilkenny joined the staff in 2007. In her prior position she was the Director of Major and Corporate Gifts at the Kimmel Center where she worked to secure the remaining funds needed to complete the $75 million Endowment Campaign.  Prior to this, she also served as the Executive Director for the Montgomery County Democratic Party where she worked on organizational fundraising, building the party’s infrastructure and campaign management.

In her role at the Art Center, Ms. Kilkenny has worked on the completion of the Capital Campaign, and is currently focused on the cultivation and stewardship of major donors, grants management, the enhancement of the membership program, the development of the Advisory Committee and strengthening corporate and community relations.

Kilkenny received a B.A. in Philosophy and Marketing from Dickinson College, recently completed her Masters in Public Administration at Villanova University and is a member of the Jenkintown Planning Commission.  She lives in Jenkintown with her husband and daughter.

A search committee consisting of experienced professionals was formed by the Board to find the new Executive Director. According to Jill Schuman, Board Chair, Ms. Kilkenny is an excellent choice to guide the Art Center for the next 25 years. “Betsy has helped strengthen and secure the financial health of the Abington Art Center and has contributed in innumerable ways to the growth of the organization. In her new role as Executive Director, she will build upon the solid foundation that has been created by Laura’s commitment and vision, and work towards strengthening the organization and enriching the creative lives of those who live in our community and beyond.”

Since last spring Abington Art Center has worked on an in-depth strategic plan, sponsored by the William Penn Foundation, to enable us to proactively engage diverse audiences, introduce new arts and cultural offerings, enhance facilities, address capitalization needs and plan for our upcoming 75th anniversary in 2014. Betsy is looking forward “to collaborating with staff, faculty and audiences from throughout the region to make Abington Art Center a premier destination for one-of-a-kind, inspiring and enriching arts experiences.”


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