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Artpark & Company file photo by K&D Action Photo and Aerial Imaging
Artpark & Company file photo by K&D Action Photo and Aerial Imaging

Change in leadership at Artpark: President Sonia Kozlova Clark departing

Mon, Apr 1st 2024 02:25 pm

Artpark & Company Press Release

After eight years leading the organization, Sonia Kozlova Clark is no longer with Artpark & Company, effective March 29.

Her leadership and commitment have been instrumental in advancing Artpark & Company. Clark led numerous successful initiatives, including developing a new strategic plan, expanding visual and performing arts and children’s programming, and hosting international artists in residencies to develop new works at Artpark.

Joanne Bauer, chair of the Artpark & Company board of directors, said, “We thank Sonia for advancing the mission of Artpark and wish her much success.”

The organization’s board of directors will initiate a national search for a new president.

Dave Wedekindt, Artpark & Company’s current vice president, will serve as interim president.

He joined the Artpark & Company team in 2018 and has extensive experience in performing arts marketing, sales, communications, programming, sponsorship and development. Previously, he was the director of marketing for the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts (UBCFA) for 15 years, preceded by five years as associate director of marketing. Wedekindt started his career as associate director of development for Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. A strong advocate for the arts, he also serves on the board of directors of MusicalFare Theatre and is immediate past president of the board of directors for Arts Services Inc. Wedekindt holds a Master of Business Administration from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from SUNY Fredonia.

Artpark & Company will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer, and has a full schedule of events planned to mark this milestone. More information is available at www.artpark.net.

Established in 1974 as a collaboration between New York State Parks and the nonprofit Artpark & Company, Artpark welcomes artists to enjoy and be inspired by the dramatic scenery and rich history of the Niagara River Gorge, and welcomes visitors and locals to enjoy the art and experiences created on its 150 acres.

Over the decades, Artpark has hosted tens of thousands of avantgarde visual artists, cutting-edge performers, beloved bands and musicians, poets and writers, and more, earning a worldwide reputation as a special place to make and experience art. This living cultural legacy weaves into the area’s history and present-day significance to Western New York’s Indigenous population, the more recent history of investment in sustainable hydroelectric power that both shaped and funded the site, and the Niagara River and Gorge’s extraordinary natural beauty.

With the unprecedented New York state investment focused on the Niagara Region, coupled with Artpark’s location, legacy and programming, plans are in place to reenvision the park and its grounds with the guidance of the “Artpark 2030” Strategic Plan.

Created in collaboration with an international team of architects: SO-IL, West8, Charcoalblue and Gekh Studio, Artpark & Company is poised to be a leading regional and national destination where art, nature, technology and culture uniquely intersect to create unforgettable experiences for all visitors. The strategic plan represents a bold vision and move forward for the 50-year-old organization, designed to grow its impact and reach new markets and audiences locally and beyond.

More information on the planning will be shared with the public later this year.

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