News from the Lane Arts Council

Stacey Ray has been designated the new executive director of Lane Arts Council. She succeeds Liora Sponko, who held the position for nearly 10 years and now serves as the community arts coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission.

Ray has more than 10 years’ experience in arts management and administration, including four years serving with Lane Arts Council as program manager, assistant director, and interim executive director. In her previous roles with Lane Arts Council, she was responsible for the management and oversight of the nonprofit organization’s operations, staff, programs, grants, marketing, and communications. She also is a passionate advocate for rural arts and culture and has helped broaden Lane Arts Council’s outreach and programming throughout Lane County.

“I truly believe in and have experienced the power of the arts to bring us together, connect us to the places we live, and help us better understand ourselves and others,” Ray said. “Art challenges us to think differently and reminds us of our humanness. As an arts administrator, artist, and arts supporter, I know how the arts impact our daily lives and strengthen our communities to make them the places we love to live. I am grateful to be able to lean into my passions to support our community through the arts.”

Before coming to Eugene, Ray served in a variety of arts-related positions in Portland and at Montana State University. Her education includes a master’s degree in arts management from the University of Oregon as well as a graduate certificate in nonprofit management. Her undergraduate degrees from Montana State in Havre are in art history and studio art.

The Lane Arts Council was founded in 1976 by a group of artists who identified the need to have a centralized arts agency to serve all of Lane County. For more than 40 years, Lane Arts Council’s mission has been to cultivate strong and creative arts communities by providing high-quality arts experiences, engaging people of all ages in arts education, and encouraging artistic endeavors. The four pillars of LAC’s work (arts education, arts experiences, artists, leadership and partnership) encompass the organization’s programs, services, and commitment to the community. Lane Arts Council serves over 13,500 students, dozens of arts organizations, hundreds of artists, and welcomes more than 20,000 community members to events annually.