Amanda Westbrooke steps down at Open Space

Amanda Westbrooke will depart as Open Space’s executive director but will continue to serve on the organization’s advisory council (Courtesy Photo)

Amanda Westbrooke will depart as Open Space’s executive director but will continue to serve on the organization’s advisory council (Courtesy Photo)

Amanda Westbrooke, executive director of Open Space for Arts & Community since 2016, has resigned her position effective July 3, the organization has announced.

Amy Wigstrom will serve as interim general manager of the organization for the next three months. Wigstrom’s background includes leadership roles with the American Heart Association, the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Sun Valley Center for the Arts. Her business, Wigstrom Consulting, currently advises a wide range of nonprofit clients. For the past two years, she has worked with Open Space as a consultant for the organization’s capital campaign for renovations and chaired its fundraising events. According to the press release, Open Space will reassess its organizational needs after Wigstrom’s 90-day interim tenure is over, and if necessary, conduct a leadership search.

In a press release, Westbrooke cited the reason for her departure as health-related, adding that she will miss her colleagues at Open Space, but that she will still be a presence at the arts center.

“I have loved leading this brilliant team,” Westbrooke said, adding that she plans to continue to serve as a volunteer and member of the organization’s advisory council. “I will always be looking for ways to continue making this the best Open Space this island has to offer.”

Westbrooke began working at the organization five years ago, first serving as a volunteer before being quickly promoted to a variety of roles that led to her present position. Under her leadership, Open Space completed an extensive renovation to add a black box theater and gallery space, as well as multi-purpose rooms for classrooms and meetings. Open Space’s Grand Hall still holds 600 people for larger productions and community events.

As executive director, Westbrooke also oversaw a wide array of performances, programs and partnerships with local organizations. Most recently, it was announced that a theater company, Civic Rep, would be in residence at Open Space for their 2018-2019 season. The organization has also launched a new initiative, Teen Club O, aimed at giving island youth a safe place to express themselves, socialize and organize their own events in the former warehouse turned community and arts center.

Open Space co-founders David Godsey and Janet McAlpin said that Westbrooke’s contribution to the organization has been enormous. “We are indescribably grateful for Amanda’s leadership,” they said in a joint statement. “We are absolutely counting on her to continue bringing her brilliance to her new role on our advisory council. Her vision has guided us and will continue to inspire us as we move forward.”

Wigstrom, the pair added, is exceptionally well qualified to lead the organization as a firm plan for leadership evolves.

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