Arts for the Schools hires its 2nd director |

Arts for the Schools hires its 2nd director

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunMelanie Kauffman, newly appointed Arts in Education executive director, is the group's second director in 23 years.

Arts for the Schools has hired an executive director, after the nonprofit group’s founder and long-time director resigned the post last year.

With Terry Yagura stepping down after 23 years with the organization, the board has hired Truckee resident Melanie Kauffman to fill the position.

“We chose her because she had a variety of skills and experience we felt was required for the position,” said Co-chairman Ann Beck of the group’s board of trustees. “She was a well-rounded candidate and I think she has proven herself in positions with other nonprofits.”

Until Friday, Kauffman served as executive director for Sierra Senior Services, and has also worked for Tahoe Women’s Services as the grants and development director.

“We’re very sorry to have her leave and we’re now faced with the daunting task of replacing her,” said senior services board chairman Dave Holtebeck. “We wish her the very best in her new endeavor.”

Until the board appoints a new executive director, Holtebeck said he will fill the position on an interim basis.

In addition to her work with senior services, Kauffman has been involved with local art and culture programs including the KidZone Museum and the Truckee Youth Music Program.

“I have been involved with the seniors organization for the past five years, and while it’s been a very rewarding experience, I wanted to take my skills and support another cause,” Kauffman said.

Arts for the Schools is a nonprofit organization that seeks to enrich the cultural life of the Truckee-Tahoe community by providing art programs in the local schools.

Kauffman said she looks forward to strengthening the organization’s structure and broadening its support.

“I believe in the mission of Arts for the Schools, and I am excited to pursue an opportunity to support its mission to foster artistic expression in children,” Kauffman said.

Yagura will remain active with the organization by serving on the board and by assisting with the new director’s transition, Beck said.

“Our challenge was to find someone who could establish their name as well as carry on the legacy Terry established,” Beck said. “Once the board spoke with Melanie, the fit seemed perfect.”

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