Beloved Executive Director Steps Down

Amanda Westbrook joined Open Space five years ago and has done every job in the organization. Most recently Amanda served as Executive Director. For health reasons, Amanda will soon shift her role to advisory council to Open Space.

It is with sadness and regret that I am announcing, for health issues, my resignation as the Executive Director of Open Space, effective July 3, 2018,” reports Open Space Executive Director Amanda Westbrook.

“The last 5 years have been full of adventure, miracles and exquisite transformation.”

Over the past five years Open Space has had many exciting events, programs and partnerships – performances by Makana, Lady Rizo, Mike Love and others, events such as the Big O and New Year’s Eve, fundraisers for VIPP, Vashon Land Trust, Vashon Community Care and Harbor School, as well as partnerships with UMO School of Physical Arts, Dove Project, VARSA, Vashon Safe and most recently Civic Rep Theatre.

Within the last two weeks at Open Space, over 1,200 people of all ages have shared experiences of “Art. Heart. Soul” through a fittingly wide range of events – the Vashon High School student awards ceremony, UMO students in aerial and acrobatic flight at their end-of-year school performance, the Big O Wonderland Gala and a Teen Club O that included two high school bands and a make-your-own arts studio. Coming up, Open Space (with Debra Heesch) stages a concert by Moody Little Sister, Vashon Land Trust Fundraiser, Open Air aerial festival and a concert by international performing artist Trevor Hall.

From co-founders Janet McAlpin and David Godsey, “As Executive Director Amanda led us through the building renovation and into our improved facility, we are indescribably grateful for Amanda’s brilliant leadership of this organization. She brought clarity, joy, energy and light to Open Space from the day she arrived. We are absolutely counting on her to continue bringing her brilliance to Open Space in her new role on our advisory council. Her vision has guided us and will continue to inspire us as we move forward.”

“Since Amanda notified us of her need to resign, the three of us have worked with consultant Larry Ward to create a solid plan for this transition period. We are delighted to announce that we have hired Amy Wigstrom as Interim General Manager. Amy knows Open Space well, having worked with us during the past two years as development consultant on our capital campaign as well as chairing our Big O fundraising events. Her presence will be an enormous help as Open Space moves smoothly forward.”

Ms. Wigstrom’s extensive non-profit background includes: serving as Executive Director of American Heart Association and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Director of Performing Arts for Sun Valley Center for the Arts. She is currently principal at Wigstrom Consulting, providing non-profit strategies and solutions to a wide range of clients.

“Amy will serve as Interim General Manager for the next 90 days, at which time we’ll reassess our needs and if necessary conduct a leadership search. Meanwhile, we feel very fortunate to have Amy working with us; she is exceptionally qualified to fill this role, and a delight to work with!”

Westbrook adds, “I have loved leading this brilliant team and I will dearly miss seeing them every day. I walked in the door all those years ago seeking a volunteer position and now, as former Executive Director, I look forward to returning as a volunteer to Open Space and serving on the advisory council. I will always be looking for ways to continue making this the best Open Space this island has to offer. The founders, staff and mission of Open Space will always have my Art, Heart and Soul.”

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