PCAA welcomes new executive director


EATON — Last week, the Board of Directors of the Preble County Art Association announced the appointment of a new executive director, as well as an assistant director, to lead Preble Arts.

Former board president Michelle Buckley was selected to take the reins at PCAA.

“The PCAA Board of Directors is proud to introduce Michelle Buckley as our vibrant new Executive Director,’ PCAA officials said in a press release. “With a history of 23 years in Preble County as well as a career as a professional photographer, Michelle is a beacon of creativity and community commitment. We hold unwavering confidence in Michelle’s ability to guide Preble Arts into a new era, and we are eagerly anticipating the transformative potential that Michelle and her team bring to our beloved organization.”

“The board has complete confidence in Michelle’s leadership, integrity, and commitment to Preble Arts. We are looking forward to what Michelle and her staff can accomplish. The future is bright, and we are all excited to witness the incredible journey ahead,” PCAA Board President Todd Appledorn said.

The release continued, “Preble Arts is passionately dedicated to lighting the spark of creativity throughout Preble County, cultivating a community brimming with art and culture. Michelle’s boundless enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit align seamlessly with our vision.”

“As a former Board President and 10-year member of Preble County Art Association, I feel grateful to have Michelle Buckley leading the way at Preble Arts. She has already given so much of her time and talents to the organization. Michelle is not only a very caring and creative individual, but she has proven to be a very capable leader and community partner. I wish her the best in this position,” said former board member Cheri Simon.

“At the core of Preble Arts is our commitment to providing high-quality art opportunities that engage, enrich, and transform our community. Under Michelle’s stewardship, we are poised to expand our reach and deepen our impact in Preble County. As the Board of Directors, we radiate enthusiasm as we usher in this new chapter, firmly believing that Michelle Buckley’s leadership will ignite boundless creativity and inspire the entire community,” the release concluded.

In a separate announcement, the PCAAA introduced Claudia Hawkins as the new PCAA Assistant Director.

“With her background in graphic design, lifelong ties to Preble County, and deep-seated passion for the arts, Claudia is sure to usher in a new era of creativity and community engagement at Preble Arts,” a PCAA release noted. “As an organization deeply rooted in our community, Preble Arts understands the importance of leadership that reflects the spirit of our county. Claudia, a lifelong resident of Preble County and a proud graduate of The Modern College of Design embodies the very essence of our mission.”

Hawkins first joined the Preble Arts Team in March of 2022 as the Program Coordinator, “and her impact was immediately felt. Her passion for making the arts an integral part of life in Preble County, combined with her creative energy, made her the perfect choice for assistant director,” the board explained.

“I am deeply honored to step into the role of Assistant Director at Preble Arts. This community holds a special place in my heart, and I’ve witnessed firsthand the remarkable impact that the Arts can have on our lives. It’s a privilege to be part of an organization that’s deeply committed to fostering creativity and art in our community. I am full of excitement to continue this creative journey, working together to bring even more artistic experiences and opportunities to our community,” Hawkins said.

The Board of Directors is confident that Claudia Hawkins’ experience, creative spirit, and heartfelt dedication to our community will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Preble Arts, the PCAA noted in the announcement.

For more information about Preble Arts, visit preblearts.org.

For more information about Preble Arts and our mission, please visit preblearts.org.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.

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