Hammond Regional Arts Center names new director _lowres

Katherine Marquette

Katherine Marquette has been named the new executive director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center.

Marquette, the former development and donor services specialist of the Second Harvest Food Bank, was appointed executive director following a search led by the HRAC board of directors, a news release said.

Marquette’s career in arts administration began in 2006. She received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from LSU and her master’s degree in arts administration from the University of New Orleans.

Art and museum education and development have been the two primary areas of focus within Marquette’s professional career, the release said. For the past three years, she has been honing her skills in fundraising. In addition to her work at Second Harvest Food Bank, she has served as cultural program analyst at the Louisiana Division of the Arts, education department assistant at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the membership coordinator at McNay Art Museum.

“The HRAC board is excited to have Katherine Marquette take the reins as executive director,” said Kelly Witte, vice president of HRAC’s board of directors. “Katherine’s dynamic personality and passion for art make her a strong spokesperson for our organization and the direction of the HRAC moving forward.”

Marquette said the position at HRAC has been on her mind since high school when she had an oil painting displayed in a student art exhibition.

“HRAC has remained on my radar ever since,” Marquette said. “Its work is top-notch. And I recognize how lucky I am to be a part of it. My appointment to the role is a dream come true. I am so grateful to HRAC’s board for their vote of confidence in my abilities and the decision to bring me on board.”

As executive director, Marquette wants the HRAC to serve and reflect the Hammond community. One of her initial goals is to solicit feedback from the community.

“I want to hear from the community what they think we are doing well and what improvements they would like to see in the future,” Marquette said. “To that end, the Arts Center will soon be disseminating a comprehensive survey and engaging the community for its feedback.”

Marquette’s next goal is to ensure the long-term financial health of the organization by creating a strong member base.

“One of my most important objectives is to retain the loyalty among our existing members and expand our membership base, particularly in the area of corporate memberships,” Marquette said.

Finally, Marquette wants to strengthen the HRAC’s relationship within the Southeastern Louisiana University community.

“I love working in nonprofit organizations and believe strongly in their ability to make the world we live in a better place,” Marquette said. “At the heart of a nonprofit is a unique mission. As the executive director, it is my duty to ensure that HRAC’s mission is at the forefront of every decision we make. Our mission is community driven. If we serve our mission faithfully, we serve the communities of Hammond, Ponchatoula, Amite, Kentwood, all of Tangipahoa Parish and the greater Southeast region of Louisiana as a whole.”

Residents can meet Marquette at HRAC’s upcoming Culinary Arts Series dinner on Aug. 10 and during Hot August Night on Aug. 14.