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February 6, 2014

Newell leaves Smithy for Fenimore, Farmers' Museum

After four years as executive director for the Smithy Center for the Arts, Danielle Newell is moving on.

“It’s been such a wonderful time that I’ve had with them,” said Newell, “It’s not easy to say goodbye.”

Newell has accepted a position at The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum as director of education. She is scheduled to start  on Feb. 18. Her last day at the Smithy will be Feb. 14.

“We really regretfully accepted Daniels resignation,” said Henry Weil, president of the Smithy board. “She brought creativity and vision … and commitment to improving the community’s experience of the arts.”

Newell said that the bigger stage that the two organizations offered attracted her to the position.

“The Fenimore and the Farmer’s Museum have a wider reach,” said Newell.

She also said that while she valued the different hats that working as the Smithy’s executive director has forced her to don, such as accountant and fundraiser, this new position will allow her to focus on education, which she said is a passion.

Newell said that when she was negotiating for her new job, she’d tried to make sure that she wouldn’t leave the Smithy in a way that would hurt the organization.

“It was very important to me that the Smithy not be left in the lurch,” said Newell.

Newell said that this concern was shared by Paul D’Ambrosio, president of The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum, who she said has been very flexible in giving her enough time to make the transition.

“He’s been a good friend to the Smithy over the years,” said Newell.

Despite her fond feelings for the Smithy, Newell says she is excited to start her new job.

“It’s a really exciting move,” said Newell. “They have an incredible team and staff there.”

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