Wildwood Park for the Arts has announced a new executive director has stepped up to head the organization.
Dr. Bevan Keating, the Wildwood Park’s artistic director, assumed the role of executive director on Oct. 8. Leslie Golden has exited as executive director of the organization.
“I am honored by the opportunity to continue Wildwood’s mission of enriching the lives of Arkansans of all ages through nature and the arts,” Keating says.” I look forward to exploring the possibilities for community engagement and development at Wildwood Park for the Arts.”
Currently, Dr. Keating is directing and conducting Wildwood’s production of Seussical the Musical, which is set for Oct. 26-28. He has also directed Into the Woods, Annie, The Music Man, and The Pirates of Penzance.
In 2015, Keating directed Wildwood’s statewide education tour of The Bremen Town Musicians. He also provides artistic leadership for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts and is an associate professor of music and director of conducting and choral studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
During her tenure as managing and executive director, Golden helped grow Wildwood’s number of visitors and program participants from 5,000 to 45,000 annually. She also was instrumental in launching the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts in 2014 and the Art in the Park visual exhibition program.
In addition, Golden led four residential NCCC AmeriCorps teams and developed STEM endeavors and seven Eagle Scout projects to support operations on Wildwood’s properties.
“I am grateful for Wildwood, the Park’s guest and supporters and the many artists, administrators, board members and volunteers with whom I’ve had the honor to work since November 2008,” Golden says. “While I plan to engage in new endeavors, I look forward to seeing the ways in which Wildwood will flourish with this transition to new leadership.”