Maria Wood – Chestertown RiverArts
A conversation with Chestertown RiverArts new Executive Director, Maria Wood
Chestertown RiverArts is one of the vibrant nonprofits that helps keep our community lively and fun. Known for First Friday receptions and gallery exhibits, the Recycled Runway, and the Clay Studio and ArtsAlive Education Center, RiverArts strives to offer community members lots of ways to be involved in the arts.
RiverArts recently welcomed Maria Wood to the helm as the new Executive Director. Maria brings with her a background in musical and theatre arts and nonprofits, and most recently was the manager of ArtsAlive. She said she feels a strong connection to the mission of the organization, to connect the community to the arts.
Wood credits the dedicated staff, and volunteers for the success of the organization. Getting to understand RiverArts’ place in Chestertown’s community through the people has been a highlight of her experience so far. She’s originally from Queen Anne’s County, but has spent time away in her adult life, so returning to such a vibrant town and running into so many old and new friends around town has made her feel welcomed.
In February, RiverArts opens “Seeing Red,” an exhibition inspired by the color red, curated by Joan Strand. In the Studio Gallery, curators Lani Seikaly and Gordon Wallace present an oral history of local youth and the impact of poverty on their lives and how they overcome. Both of these exhibitions premier on First Friday from 5-8 p.m.
Looking ahead, Wood expects the ArtsAlive Education Center to be the area of the most growth this year. With new Manager Ann Farley at the helm, new and interesting classes, workshops, and activities are being planned. In particular, new classes for young people aim to fill in the gap of artistic offerings for children who have aged out of KidSPOT.
To learn more about RiverArts, visit their website.