Mary Anne Winkelman, named new Cultural Alliance director.
Mary Anne Winkelman, named new Cultural Alliance director.

The first president of a nonprofit organization that has raised millions of dollars to bring the arts to York County will retire from her post at week's end.

Joanne Riley's last day at the Cultural Alliance of York County is Friday and will usher in a new era of leadership.

The alliance's board of directors appointed its vice president, Mary Anne Winkelman, to fill the position.

"I know that under Mary Anne's leadership the alliance will continue to be strong," Riley said of her successor. "New blood is always good."

With her retirement just around the corner, Riley, 63, said she plans to spend her newfound free time traveling and enjoying life.

Creation: Riley was named president of the cultural alliance in 1999 when it was created.

Over the course of her 15 years at the helm, the Spring Garden Township resident oversaw fundraising campaigns that netted a combined $11.5 million for arts, Larry Miller, chairman of the board of directors, said in a news release.

"We are thankful of Joanne's many years of service and all she has done in making the Cultural Alliance of York County a model for United Arts Funds in the county," he said.

Some of the money raised by the alliance has been granted to its eight partner agencies such as the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center and York's symphony orchestras.

During her tenure as president, Riley received the Americans for the Arts Michael Newton Award in 2010 and, in 2011, was the recipient of the Non-Profit Innovation Award from the Central Penn Business Journal. Riley said she holds both awards dear to her heart.


Before joining the alliance, Riley was the executive director of YorkArts and oversaw renovations of the art deco gallery at 10 N. Beaver St.

New leader: Winkelman, the alliance's new president, started with the organization in 2001 as its campaign director. She was named vice president about a year ago.

With 13 years of experience under her belt, Winkelman said she plans to continue the work started by Riley.

"It'll be a very smooth transition," Winkelman said.

For the most part, Riley and Winkelman were the only two employees of the alliance. That kept administrative costs low and allowed more funds to go to projects, Winkelman said.

But hundreds of volunteers lend a hand yearly during the alliance's annual appeal for funds, which it is in the midst of.

"We have a lot of volunteer help," Winkelman said.

pThe Cultural Alliance of York County is in the midst of its annual appeal for funds.

All told, the alliance, which provides funding for arts projects throughout the county, has a goal to raise more than $1 million - $820,000 cash and $225,000 in in-kind services - this year.

Since 2000, the campaign has granted $7.5 million cash and more than $2 million in-kind support throughout the county.

The 2014 campaign ends March 31.

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