Alison Brennan hit the ground running in 2015 when she chose EAC as her ‘second career,’ following 38 years as a full-time music educator. From her first months at EAC, Alison brought tremendous energy and passion; she swiftly introduced the now-annual High School Jazz Night, a springboard for acts like Shead Ahead who achieved 2nd place for small ensembles at last month’s national jazz competition in Philadelphia. She has fostered countless opportunities for community creativity, ranging from preschoolers’ sessions, programs for school-age children and offerings for the general public, and extending to outreach to our area seniors. In her last weeks at EAC, she brought six schools to the Center for special concerts from Irish musician Gerry O’Connor and visits to the youth art exhibition, hosted weekly KinderArts and Youth Drum Circle sessions as well as two sessions related to an earlier ceramics workshop, and worked with others on planning many programs, including the Music for Children youth opera production, EAC’s Summer Workshop Series and Summer Arts Camp, this weekend’s Shead student art fundraiser and more. Alison’s ingenious collaborations with area educators, musicians, and all sorts of students have been a constant boost to the Center’s efforts.

“Alison always seemed to know what needed to be done and how to accomplish that expeditiously, and with willingness to own any responsibility she assumed, smiling as she jumped in,” writes Marged Higginson, Board member, co-leader of The Concert Series/Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center and organizer of EAC’s annual Festival of Trees. “It was always a pleasure working with Alison on the Festival of Trees, creating a synergistic relationship between Outreach with its ornament making workshops and the outreach to the wider community through the Festival. We shall miss her skills and her personality. I suspect those attributes will still be shared as she follows new interests in her second retirement.”

“Alison is an asset to her community wherever she goes and enlightened countless children’s lives while working at the arts center,” writes former EAC Director Chris Grannis. “People of all ages throughout Washington County benefitted from her devotion to bringing art and music workshops for all. It will be challenging to replace her!

Alison in her turn wrote to Board members in her final monthly report, “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and learning from the many talented artists we have in our community and fellow staff members.” She noted of her tenure at EAC: “It’s a special time in my life that I will always cherish.”

Following are a group of images taken by Alison at events she organized—she was a busy force behind the camera at EAC as well as creating events!