L/A Arts, Lewiston-Auburn’s local arts agency, is proud to announce Odelle Bowman as its new executive director. She will take over the position beginning, Tuesday, March 22.
Bowman believes in the power of the arts to transform, strengthen and foster positive growth in communities. “Lewiston-Auburn is at a crossroads and poised for growth,” she said. “We are a community that has many hidden treasures and new ones to develop. As we look to the future and hope to draw new community members and businesses to our area, quality of life must be considered. A quality of life that includes a cultural life filled with the arts, good schools that have enriching curriculum and opportunities for quality community interaction is what people are seeking.”
These are things that L/A Arts works to sustain and broaden in the community; Bowman promises to strengthen that commitment, bringing new energy and vision to the organization.
In making the announcement, L/A Arts’ Board Chair, Sandra Marquis, emphasized her support of the appointment.
“The board and I are delighted to welcome Odelle to L/A Arts,” Marquis said. “She will not only bring her many years of leadership experience to the organization, but also her passion and enthusiasm for infusing the arts into our communities thereby enhancing our quality of life.”
Bowman, a Lewiston resident, has been the executive director of “A Company of Girls,” a national award-winning afterschool program for 16 years. The non-profit was the recipient of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities “Coming up Taller Award,” recognizing it as one of the top 10 afterschool programs in the United States. She is a member of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.
A professional actor/director, storyteller and arts educator, Bowman has been the co-producer/founder of the Cassandra Project, a women’s performing arts festival in Portland. She produced and founded the Maine Women and Girls Film Festival and for six years was the director of the Maine Humanities program, “Girls Going Places,” bringing the arts and humanities to youth incarcerated at Long Creek Development Center.
In 2002 she was one of three women honored with the Maine Women’s Fund Award, given to women and girls who serve as role models and inspirations and who advance the well being of women in Maine.
“What an artist/the arts are trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because art is about sharing: you wouldn’t be an artist if you didn’t want to share an experience, a thought,” said artist David Hockney. Odelle Bowman is excited to share with the Lewiston-Auburn community.
Bowman succeeds Jim Handy, who has served as interim executive director since the fall of 2010.