Arts Services Initiative of Western New York welcomed Rachelle Toarmino as its new communications and development manager. Toarmino is the first to fill this brand-new position for the eight-year-old nonprofit.
“We are thrilled to bring Rachelle on board for this new position at ASI,” Executive Director Jen Swan said. “This position fulfills one of our strategic plan’s main goals: a renewed focus on branding the ASI name and mission to reach a wider audience through our programs and services. As we head into our 10-year anniversary in a few years, alongside our recent office relocation to the Tri-Main Center, we are at a critical point in ASI’s growth.”
Toarmino’s background includes both grassroots marketing and corporate communications experience. She is the cofounder and editor in chief of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine and publisher of in-print anthologies, and previously worked as a content specialist in the brand and marketing department of a major national law firm.
Toarmino has been involved in Western New York’s thriving arts and culture sector for several years. Among her many responsibilities at Peach Mag, she curates the magazine’s Buffalo-based reading series and writes book reviews for its column in The Public. She also edits and designs the magazine’s in-print anthologies, including its yearbook series and “With You: Withdrawn Poetry of the #MeToo Movement.” She has presented locally and nationally on emerging trends and developments affecting the publishing industry, and in 2017, she served on the editorial advisory board of “My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry.”
“ASI’s mission of providing artists and arts organizations with the tools and resources needed to be sustainable is one I care deeply about,” Toarmino said. “I’m excited to contribute my marketing and development skills to an organization whose programs and services I find so indispensable to our region.”
In addition to her professional work, Toarmino is a poet and creative writer. She is the author of several chapbooks, including “Graphic and Personal & Generic,” and her poems and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, Metatron Press, Shabby Doll House, and other places online and in print, and anthologized in “My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry” and “Cosmonauts Avenue: The Anthology.” In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize with guest judge Ocean Vuong, longlisted for the Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize with guest judge Tommy Pico, and named Buffalo Seminary’s Elizabeth McNulty Wilkinson Poet.