Woodstock arts council names new leader
By Kevin O’Connor
Staff Writer | March 07,2014
WOODSTOCK — Midwesterner Gary Alan Wood first came to this town as a child during summer vacations with his grandparents. Then the St. Paul, Minn., native grew up, got married to concert pianist Sakiko Ohashi and began bringing his own son, 2-year-old Kenji, to Vermont for frequent visits.
Wood has always wanted a reason to settle in the state full time. And now, as the newly named executive director of the local Pentangle Arts Council, he has one.
The longtime arts administrator laid the foundation for his career at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on music education and a master’s degree studying woodwind performance and educational practices.
Wood continued his education as a graduate assistant at Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, where he honed his skills as a performer, educator and arts administrator.
He went on to teach band and orchestra, and then worked as manager of education and outreach for the Minnesota Orchestra. He eventually served as president and CEO of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
An arts administrator since 1998, Wood currently directs the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., which features a 740-seat theater, a 120-seat black box experimental theater and the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery.
“Gary brings a rich history of experience as a music educator, arts program manager, director, collaborator, fundraiser, arts presenter and venue manager,” Pentangle officials said in a statement.
“His work in arts administration and leadership will help Pentangle continue to fulfill its mission to foster community and creativity through the presentation of performances of music, theater and dance and other special arts programs as it prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.”
Wood’s family bought a cottage in West Woodstock in 2006 and has attended Pentangle events ever since.
Founded in 1974, Pentangle presents performances and movies in Woodstock’s Town Hall Theatre and promotes the arts in area schools and the greater community. Wood, 55, will start working full time July 1. He replaces Sunni Fass, who left last fall after leading Pentangle for two years.