A spring garden party at the home of Carol and Peter Seldin, of New Canaan, honored the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County's founding executive director, Ryan Odinak.
A farewell presentation was made by Liz Morten, the president of the alliance, and actor James Naughton.
Odinak was hired as executive director in 2008 just as the organization launched. Previously she had served for three years on a regional steering committee that studied the arts and cultural landscape of Fairfield County and identified the need for a coordinating agency.
Over the past six years, Odinak has worked to establish the alliance as a viable nonprofit for the county, bringing a new collaborative and cooperative spirit to the people that work within the sector.
More than 250 organizations, artists, creative businesses and municipalities have joined the organization to date. During this time, Odinak led the development of FCBuzz.org, a member-driven events calendar, and established programs such as the Executive Directors Network, the Marketing Roundtable and the Make.Art.Work. program for visual artists, among others. The alliance has hosted scores of workshops and informational meetings to help build the capacity of its members.
Odinak is board secretary of the Connecticut Arts Alliance.
"I have a strong sense of community and a passion for helping all those that make art and dedicate themselves to the supporting roles in the art world," Odinak said.
Odinak, an artist, will continue to serve as an arts advocate and find new ways to work with organizations one-on-one.