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Henderson Area Arts Alliance's new executive director brings 'magical' experience

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The Henderson Area Arts Alliance has a new executive director, but he’s not a stranger to the job’s territory.

Fifty five-year-old Henderson resident, Greg Gibson, assumes his new post with nearly 25 years of experience in marketing, management and entertainment. Among his variety of jobs, he was a designer for Disney. But Gibson is not afraid to keep learning on the job, he said.

“I am an open book when it comes to learning,” Gibson said. "I have some years on me, but you never stop learning. That's one of the reasons why I'm so excited about this job."

Gibson was hired as executive director last week, after filling the interim post for five months.  He officially begins his new position on July 1.

Director of the Henderson County Tourist Commission Kyle Arnett previously held his job. Arnett oversaw Gibson during the interim period.

"He is seasoned in fundraising and he really loves to do it," Arnett said. "He also has a passion for the community and for the arts. So, it's really a good match."

When Arnett started at the Arts Alliance five years ago, the organization was in debt.

But she helped right the ship by lowering ticket prices and lining up exclusive acts for concerts and shows.

“We had a line of credit they had been drawing on for years in the past... When I came in, it was maxed out,” Arnett said. "But now, there's no line of credit and there hasn't been in several years."

Arnett says she thinks Gibson’s knack for fundraising and leadership is what ultimately sold the board.

"And he also had the bonus of being from the community, which is a big deal, especially when you're asking folks to donate their resources," Arnett said.

Gibson won’t leak all of his plans for the arts organization – the strategic planning meeting isn’t until the end of the summer – but he was willing to share that he plans to secure an endowment and rely less on corporate sponsors.

“Many of them have funded us for 20 years, they are tired of us coming back with our hand out every year," Gibson said. "I would like to see a plan for an endowment program to be established so we don't have the to that."

Gibson says he’s bringing some of that “Disney magic” he learned in Florida to this river town, and he hopes it will draw visitors from across the bridge, too.

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