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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
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University director named president of state organization

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 24, 2006) -- Gretchen Stephens, director of Ohio University's Office of University Events, was recently named president of the board of directors for the Ohio Arts Presenters Network (OAPN).

Stephens, a native of Springfield, Ohio, graduated from Ohio University in 1974 with a bachelor's degree majoring in business and music. In 1983, she received her master's degree in arts administration from Ohio University. She has worked for over 22 years for her alma mater and as director of University Events for the past 15 years.

While working full-time for the university, she has dedicated her free time to the Ohio Arts Presenters Network. She has served on the board of directors over a period of 15 years and has been active as a member of many committees, directed workshops, mentored new members and coordinated regional activities. Through the years, she has taken on a leadership role with the organization, serving as conference program chair and vice president. As conference program chair, she was responsible for several state annual conferences.

Stephens said, "I am excited and eager to continue to build upon the arts energy that is so vibrant from our current state membership, encourage new membership and to use this power to strengthen the vital voice of the arts in Ohio."

The Ohio Arts Presenters Network was founded in 1960 by a group of college and university concert managers from Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia to share information on the selection, promotion and presentation of performing arts events and to work cooperatively in booking such programs. It was incorporated in 1980 as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization and is supported by membership dues, conference and workshop fees, contributions and grants.

OAPN believes live performances, by celebrating and nurturing the human spirit, are vital to the quality of life. The organization works to build a statewide network to explore mutual concerns, to encourage cooperative ventures and partnerships, to further professional growth and to empower presenters, artists and concerned individuals to inspire in others a love for the arts.

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Media Contact: Publicity Coordinator Sarah Petersen, (740) 593-0802 or ss230302@ohio.edu

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