Jenna Hartzell has been named Executive Director of ARTS Obispo, previously known as the County Arts Council, effective June 1.

Hartzell, a resident of Atascadero, has been program director for ARTS Obispo and a driving force behind the development of major ARTS Obispo programs since 2010.

She successfully turned the annual Open Studios Art Tour from a $25/person ticketed-event to one that is now free for all and accessible online. In addition, she has expanded Art After Dark, a monthly art walk in the city of San Luis Obispo by 70% while starting a similar program, First Saturdays: Wine and the Arts, in downtown Paso Robles. Over the last year, Hartzell dedicated her energies to arts education by expanding the Poetry Out Loud program in SLO County and inviting a middle-school film crew to document the competition. More recently, she led the collaboration with the County Office of Education to produce the 34th Annual County Writing Celebration for grades 1-12.

Hartzell grew up in Columbus, Ohio, participating equally in athletics and the arts while gaining appreciation for community and culture. Through travel abroad and her studies, her love of the arts blossomed into a career after graduation from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is also an accomplished visual artist.

“We are lucky to have Jenna in our community,” said ARTS Obispo’s president of the board, Mary Kay Harrington. “She is intelligent and extremely creative and will lead us effectively.”

Charlotte Alexander, the Executive Director of AO since the fall of 2011, will be the new ED for the SLO Film Festival. ARTS Obispo is very grateful for the 20 months of leadership and guidance she provided. She has found the perfect fit in the SLO Film Festival. We look forward to seeing her thrive there.