New Executive Director Named for Arts & Humanities Council

By Kris Perez - email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana has appointed a new Executive Director. Matt Young assumed the position on Monday, August 19th. Young will be working with the Council's Board of Directors, staff and volunteers. Young stated, "I am thrilled to have this opportunity to continue the growth of Cultural Tourism and share our heritage and culture with both residents and visitors alike." He foresees great potential for strengthening the support provided to the Southwest Louisiana area's performers, artists and presenters.

For the past four years, the Council has worked to enhance the level of support for non-profit and performing agencies throughout Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis Parishes.  This year in Calcasieu Parish, the Police Jury instituted the new Project Assistance Grant for project funding. The Arts and Humanities Council's expertise is used by the City of Lake Charles and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the Louisiana Division of the Arts in managing on-going grant programs to bolster local and regional programming.

Young was born and raised in DeRidder, and graduated from DeRidder High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana Tech.  After receiving his degree, he worked in public relations in California, before coming back to his hometown. Young has experience in securing funding from various grant sources. He assisted the City of DeRidder, the Beauregard Parish Court House, June Jenkins Women's Shelter, and Beauregard Parish Police Jury in securing funding from grants.  Just this year,  he played a direct role in the creation and implementation of RealArt, the new DeRidder gallery; the Main Street Program; Beauregard Education Link; DeRidder's Fourth of July celebration and many other programs and events.

Outgoing Executive Director Irene Vandever summed up the new Director's abilities by stating, "I cannot imagine anyone better suited to take up the reins of the Council's operations than Matt Young.  He brings unique insight, wonderful experience in all the right areas and has energy and personality to boot!"

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