When Vicky Dorman retired from the Council for the Arts of Herndon, Fairfax Board of Supervisors in Fairfax, VA, little did she know it would be a short-lived respite. “To me retirement was moving back to Florida and never seeing another snowfall. Even I was surprised when I applied for the job.”
Dorman became the new Executive Director of the Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street in July, one of more than 30 applicants for the position. Born in Fort Pierce, she returned to Florida after 47 years, bringing with her a wealth of experience in both the non-profit and civic sectors. “The way I see it, I have two different missions — supporting the arts and boosting economic development. They are not mutually exclusive and can complement one another.”
Dorman’s duties include “promoting historic preservation, interest and public use” of Eau Gallie. “We need more businesses, particularly another destination restaurant.”
She is also charged with facilitating “rehabilitation, design, economic restructuring and retail management” in the area. “I see one of my roles as getting more businesses to see the value in becoming members; that this is a place not only for the arts but for business development as well. I’ll be working with everyone, particularly the owners of vacant properties, to attract new business.”
The Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the arts and the economic revitalization of the historic Florida Main Street Community.
“The arts here are in good shape. The gallery owners are very happy and love the area. To have the museum (the Foosaner Art Museum) as an anchor is fabulous and the relationship with FIT is a wonderful association. During out First Friday events, we regularly have more than 100 artists wanting to participate in the art walk.”
Dorman knows there will be challenges but is determined to see the district thrive.
“We need to ensure that business owners are vested in making this a better place to live and work. With perseverance and doggedness we will see this area become what we want it to be.”