The Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington has selected a new director to replace Jon Cook, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Katie Kramer, an Upper Arlington resident, will start Jan. 2, according to a release from the organization.

Prior to her new role, she served 13 years as the vice president of the Council Of Development Finance Agencies, a national association in Columbus that helps state and local governments identify economic-development finance issues.

"One of things I'm really excited about is to make that circle back into the arts world," she said.

Kramer said she is excited to blend her experience and her passion together.

She said she has experience working in a small nonprofit organization and will be able to bring those skills to her new position.

"To take to the next level with some structure and a new vision is really exciting," she said.

Kramer said her father is a mixed-media artist and she studied art history at Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she began working as an assistant at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery and was assistant director of the annual fund for Scripps College.

She said her introduction to the MAC came when her daughter took ballet lessons. She said she and her family enjoyed what the center had to offer and its welcoming atmosphere.

"That's something I really want to share with the community," she said.

Kramer said the MAC plays a large role, along with other organizations, in the development of the community.

"Worthington should be proud of what they built and I'm excited to be a part of that," she said.

Cook, who was the first director of the MAC, announced his retirement in September. He had served nine years as director since it opened in 2009 at 777 Evening St. His last scheduled day is Dec. 31.

The MAC serves 85,000 people a year and provides paid and unpaid opportunities to 526 artists, according to Cook.

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