AuSable Artisan Village welcomes new Director
Tue, 02/09/2021 - 11:52am caleb
Kinzie Nena | Staff Writer
There is a new director at the AuSable Artisan Village (AAV) in downtown Grayling.
The AAV recently welcomed Andrea Hentschel as its new director. Hentschel, who is new to the community, has been a member of the AAV since early December, when she joined to help pursue funding, creative changes, and helping map out an ambitious performance schedule.
Hentschel has a background in business psychology, strategic planning, volunteer management, and nonprofit organizational development. Hentschel has been in nonprofit consulting for over 15 years. She was also an assistant event director with the National Cherry Festival for about six years.
“I am most passionate about people, and finding the tools, time, resources and connections to build success for individuals and teams. Coming to the AuSable Artisan Village, meeting the people and being here, from the day I interviewed it felt like a place to be, to belong, to stay and enjoy,” said Hentschel.
In graduate school Hentschel’s research focused on building an inclusive workplace for those with developmental disabilities. Hentschel also has a background in concerts, bands, orchestra, and setting up for such productions. While she does not have a background in the typical arts often showcased at AAV, she does have a musical background, playing saxophone and a few other instruments, and knows how to compose music. She was even in a travelling band about 20 years ago.
“I want to see Grayling flourish and AAV be one of those places people from downstate and all over tell their friends they MUST stop at on their way north, or be the reason for the trip north,” said Hentschel.
The goals Hentschel has with the AAV is firstly to succeed at every turn, to build sustainability, develop solid funding streams, build a growing performance schedule, cultivate cultural and artistic opportunities for all ages, build a thriving volunteer program, and encourage the tourism in Grayling by putting AAV even more on the map as a “must see” destination.
The AAV has plans for a robust concert schedule, including comedy, a community theater, different music genres, while hoping to have something planned for every month of 2021. No further specifics about concert and shows have been given.
Currently AAV will be partnering with Coffee By Steph, which is located inside the AAV building, between the gallery and Paddle Hard Brewery, for a community event offering a free small coffee or price equivalent off with any purchase at the gallery. They are hopeful for a great local turn-out, according to Hentschel. Further hopes for the AAV is to cultivate a place and venue for live performances.
“Personally, I see my role is to support what AAV is, keep it moving to be an art and culture connection that drives economic development to the community, bring my knowledge and skill into partnership with what is. The vision and mission here is clear, and it is wonderful. Change is inevitable, but I want to keep the heart, soul, and passion that founded AAV alive,” said Hentschel.
“I think even more now than ever we have an opportunity to uplift, empower and create in the community that we are in,” Hentschel said.