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Meet the newest executive director for The Arts Council in Gainesville
Pamela Williams-Lime
Pamela Williams-Lime - photo by Courtesy of The Arts Council

The Arts Council in Gainesville has a new executive director. 

Pamela Williams-Lime, a nonprofit and business leader from Milwaukee, will replace Gladys Wyant, who is retiring Feb. 4 after 38 years as the council’s executive director. 

“I look forward to continuing the impactful work that is being done by The Arts Council to engage and enrich the lives of the community in Gainesville and its surrounding region,” Williams-Lime said in a press release on Wednesday, Jan., 19. 

Arts Council Board Chair Carol Burrell made the announcement Wednesday. 

“We had very big shoes to fill,” Burrell said. “Gladys truly has been Gainesville’s First Lady of the Arts, leaving a lasting imprint on our organization and the arts to be appreciated for years to come throughout our community and region.”

Ron Quinn, chair of the search committee, led a year-long search, choosing Williams-Lime among dozens of other candidates. 

“I am confident Pamela will roll up her sleeves and devote her talents to taking the arts to a whole new level in our community,” Quinn said. “It will be exciting to watch.”

Quinn said the search committee was impressed with her skills in administration, communications and contract negotiations, as well as her strong visual arts and museum background.

Williams-Lime was the executive director of Milwaukee’s Pabst Mansion, a historic home-place showcasing iconic architecture and the art collection of the storied Pabst beer brewing family of German immigrants. She worked with the City of Milwaukee and a historic preservation committee to support capital improvements for the Pabst Mansion and turn around finances with successful fund-raising. 

From 2012 to 2018, she transformed a former arts center building in Appleton, Wis., into two distinct centers, the Trout Museum of Art and the Fox Cities Building for the Arts, while increasing annual attendance from 12,000 visitors to over 100,000 with numerous juried art exhibits and events.

“Our organization could not be in better hands for our future,” Burell said. 

The Arts Council was established in 1970 by Lessie Smithgall, who co-founded The Times with her husband Charles in 1947.