The Bristol Press – Diann Thomson will now lead Southington Community Cultural Arts
SOUTHINGTON – Diann Thomson will now lead Southington Community Cultural Arts (SoCCA) as Executive Director, with the aim of continuing the vision of founder Mary DeCroce, who died last September.
Thomson accepted the position following a unanimous decision of the board of directors. She will officially begin her new role on April 11.
Thomson, who comes from a graphic design background and created the SoCCA logo, has been involved with the nonprofit at 93 Main St. since its inception. She helped DeCroce raise funds to transform the historic building in Gura, which was the former town hall annex and police station, into the arts center it is today. SoCCA officially opened in 2016 and has been offering numerous workshops and art classes ever since.
Before his death, after a long battle with cancer, DeCroce encouraged Thomson to take over leadership of SoCCA.
“There was no stopping Mary – if she had an idea, you knew she would bring it to life,” Thomson said. “She created this gem and now I have to make it shine.”
Thomson, who was previously vice chairman of the SoCCA board, is also taking pottery classes there. In her experience, she says, everyone is happy to come here and explore creative outlets.
“They like the opportunity to break out of their routine and do something creative,” she said. “That’s one of the things that has really helped me over the past two years.”
Going forward, Thomson intends to pursue other corporate sponsorship and partnership opportunities. She intends to make the “hidden gem” that is Southington Arts Center less hidden in the minds of the community.
Dawn Miceli, Chair of the Board of SoCCA, was thrilled to see Thomson accept the position of Executive Director.
“We are delighted that Diann has accepted the position and are confident in her abilities to lead SoCCA given her extensive resume both professionally and in her local volunteer work,” she said. “She is well known and respected in our community and brings continuity to the position, which is so beneficial to our mission to provide unparalleled access to the arts.”
Miceli said Thomson recently retired from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) after more than 15 years with that institution as design and publications coordinator. At CCSU, she played a leadership role in the development, management and execution of the university’s marketing plan, campaigns and initiatives.
“She led the branding of CCSU’s Devil Double Dare campaign, which helped the university achieve its annual fundraising goals,” Miceli said. “In addition, his design work has received numerous awards, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze from the Collegiate Advertising Awards, as well as Achievement Awards from the Connecticut Art Directors Club and the Architectural Record Advertising Awards. .”
Miceli said SoCCA is “delighted to incorporate Diann’s level of marketing and communications expertise into its overall goals and objectives.”
“Furthermore, his familiarity with fundraising and annual fundraising will ensure SoCCA’s financial viability for many years to come,” Miceli added.
Prior to CCSU, Thomson worked as an art director for several major New England advertising agencies, including Mintz & Hoke Advertising and Public Relations, Keiler and Company Advertising, and Decker Rickard. Additionally, Miceli said, she operated a successful independent design studio with a diverse clientele.
In addition to designing the SoCCA logo, she also designed the current logos for the Southington Public Library, the Southington Education Foundation and other local organizations.
Thomson has also served on the Southington Library Advocacy Committee, the Tunxis Community/Technical College Advisory Board for the Graphic Design Department, and as Design Coordinator for the Connecticut Chapter of About Face, a organization for people with facial differences.
For more information about Southington Community Cultural Arts, visit southingtonarts.org or call 860-276-1581.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]