The following release is from Maplewood Township, New Jersey:
The Township of Maplewood and the Department of Community Services announce Sally Unsworth as the Manager of Arts & Culture effective January 17, 2023.
Unsworth, a South Orange resident, joins Maplewood Township after serving as Seton Village Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) Coordinator in South Orange.
“We are very familiar with Sally’s recent work in Seton Village as well as her long-time advocacy for the arts locally,” says Melissa Mancuso, Director of the Department of Community Services. “She has a deep commitment to accessible, inclusive, and dynamic programming, and we are thrilled that she can hit the ground running with the Division of Arts & Culture.”
Mayor Dean Dafis who serves as liaison to the Maplewood Arts Council says, “I have known Sally to be a fierce supporter of many of the things we value in Maplewood including issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, advocating for equity and inclusion in our schools and townships, and partnering with local organizations to effect change. I know her passion and vigor will have a positive impact on the arts and culture of the Township.”
Unsworth’s professional background in the arts is extensive. She was the Executive Director of the Association of Art Museum Curators for ten years, Deputy Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, and an adjunct faculty member at the Pratt Institute in the Arts & Cultural Management graduate program where she also received her Master’s degree. She served on the board of Smack Mellon arts space in Brooklyn, and was the youngest elected president of ArtTable, a national professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the arts.
Locally, Unsworth is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and peer coordinator for CASA of Essex County, an organization working to support youth in the foster system. Unsworth was a founding Board member of SOMA Action and is active community volunteer with several organizations including the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, SOMA Justice, and served on the leadership committees of the PTAs of Marshall and Seth Boyden Elementary Schools.
“The creative energy and expertise in this town are second to none,” says Unsworth. “With the master planning work currently underway in Maplewood, the timing is perfect to develop a comprehensive arts strategy that leverages our sizable creative assets as well as provide more opportunities for the public to discover and explore quality arts experiences throughout every corner of town. I look forward to engaging with the artist community and to working closely with the Maplewood Arts Council, the Maplewood Township Committee, The Springfield Avenue Partnership, Maplewood Village Alliance, Two Towns for All Ages, and all the abundant community partners in the area.”
The mission of the Division of Arts & Culture, under the Community Service Department is to foster a creative community of artists and organizations, enhancing the quality of life for residents of Maplewood by ensuring that arts and culture experiences are inclusive and accessible to all.