After 13 years as Oregon Coast Council for the Arts’ executive director, Catherine Rickbone retired from her position, leaving OCCA needing to replace her. After a lot of searching, the OCCA has chosen an Interim Executive Director- David Carnevale.  

“I just can’t imagine anyone more uniquely and highly qualified for this position,” said OCCA Board President Akia Woods, “He’s incredibly talented, capable, experienced and we’re elated and grateful to have his guidance at this time.” 

With a Master in Non-Profit Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Carnevale is a qualified candidate for the role. Carnevale not only founded and ran a theatre company, but he also has experience in creating and coordinating art gallery space, and currently serves as chairman of the board for a health care nonprofit. 

“It’s as if he’s been working toward checking off all the boxes for us,” added OCCA Board Member Darcy Hogan, “Education, check! Performing arts experience, check! Visual arts experience, check! Non-profit experience, check! It really is difficult to imagine someone more singularly qualified to take on this role.” 

As interim director, Carnevale will oversee the Performing Arts Center and Visual Arts Center. He takes over, not only during a pandemic, but also as the PAC enters the final phase of its capital campaign. Asked how he’s feeling, Carnevale replied “I am excited about becoming part of the OCCA team and am looking forward to exploring the amazing art community along the Oregon Coast.” 

Because of COVID-19, the PAC has had a lot of downtime and low amounts of staff, the OCCA Board of Directors have stepped in to take on certain key tasks. While the Board of Directors have been able to take on tasks, direction from a single director will be useful to continue to move forward with the capital campaign. 

“As coastal counties begin moving up the phased reopening ladder, and as we begin to take our initiatives off ‘pause’, it’s important that we have someone dedicated and qualified to lead the way,” said Hogan, “I’ve known David for nearly two decades and have had the privilege of working with him many times over the years. I have the utmost faith in him. He’s a wonderful leader, and I’m thrilled that he was willing to join us, albeit temporarily.” 

When asked why Carnevale’s title bears the word “interim”, Woods replied, “The search for a permanent executive director isn’t something we want to rush. By hiring an interim director, we can get important bases covered right away, while simultaneously buying us ample time to give our search for a permanent [sic] executive director the careful thought and consideration it requires.” 

Having an interim director comes with additional benefits. “David isn’t vying for the permanent position,” expressed Woods, “which means he’ll be able to approach decisions in a very pure and straightforward fashion, and provide us with an unvarnished, unbiased view of the organization. He’s coming in with fresh eyes, a fresh approach, and no agenda. That’s worth its weight in gold.” 

For more information on the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, visit www.CoastArts.org