A Letter from Nancy Devine

May 10, 2006

Dear colleagues,

It is with a sense of pride, mixed with a touch of regret, that I am writing to let you know that after a year and a half directing The Wallace Foundation’s work in both out-of-school time and the arts, I will be stepping down from my role as arts director to focus solely on improving out-of-school time opportunities for children.

Over the past 18 months, I’ve had the privilege of working with many of you to expand our commitment to building appreciation and demand for the arts. Through the Wallace Excellence Awards, we’ve extended our longstanding work with leading arts organizations who are developing and testing strategies to reach new audiences. And we’ve added a new initiative, Arts for Young People, to help cities find better ways to provide children and youth with the kind of sustained, deep engagement in the arts that confers lifelong benefits. We expect both initiatives to yield important lessons for the field about how to bring the arts to more people both now and in the future.

Given this expanded commitment, it has become clear to me that the arts team requires a full-time director, especially at a time when our out-of-school time work is also expanding. As you may know, our work in out-of-school time focuses on helping selected cities plan and develop highly coordinated systems of quality out-of-school learning so that resources are efficiently spent and more children participate and realize learning and developmental benefits. In addition to Providence and New York City, we expect to soon add three additional cities as partners in this work: Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

We will begin a search immediately for a new arts director, and I invite you to forward names of candidates to James Abruzzo, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Nonprofit Practice, DHR International, Inc. at jabruzzo@dhrinternational.com. I’ll be working with our president, Christine DeVita, to select a successor. This is a remarkable opportunity for a person with the passion and commitment to bringing the arts to more people of all ages to work with arts institutions, cities, our research partners and Wallace’s arts team to develop and share effective practices and ideas.

While the search is underway for an arts director, I’ll continue to lead our work in the arts. Thank you for your personal and professional support; it’s been an honor and a pleasure working with you.


Nancy Devine
Director of Arts and Communities