Wendy Weiss, center, with artist Edgar Jerins and EEA Marketing Coordinator Melissa Pressler
at the opening of the 2024 EEA Elizabeth Richard Memorial Members’ Show.


East End Arts Appoints Wendy Weiss

as new Executive Director

Riverhead, NY — The East End Arts & Humanities Council’s [EEA] Board of Directors unanimously voted to put Creative Director Wendy Weiss in the role of Executive Director on June 17, 2024 upon receiving the resignation of Diane Burke. Burke brought Weiss into the organization, and the two worked closely together over the last several years.

“Diane has led a significant transformation and financial repositioning at East End Arts. We wish her well in her new position and we have every confidence in the team she built, immediately accepting a transition plan naming Wendy Weiss as our new Executive Director,” notes Board President John McLane.

Weiss has been involved in EEA since March 2020 when she joined the Board and actively participated in efforts to keep the arts council creatively active during the pandemic. One year later, she resigned from the Board to join the EEA team in the role of Membership & Gallery Coordinator and moved into a newly established role of Creative Director later in 2021. She has facilitated all the major exhibitions in the EEA gallery and the numerous EEA Member satellite gallery spaces, overseen the marketing and membership initiatives, and been a driving force in the small executive staff of the organization.

Weiss’ exemplary leadership has allowed her to transition naturally into the role of Executive Director. During this transition, Burke reached out to a substantial donor who in turn gave the organization $50,000 to fund the transition plan that included putting Weiss in the ED seat while investing in supportive development and marketing staff. Burke and Weiss provide the EEA team with confidence that the organization and its trajectory will be managed and cared for with great attention.

“Wendy has significantly engaged the professional working artist community on the East End,” adds McLane, “We cannot be more optimistic about the opportunities in front of East End Arts in the next several years.” Weiss continues as acting Creative Director in her new role. Kathleen Dwyer Ruscick and Chris Jones remain on as Education Director and Music Director, respectively, and Melissa Pressler’s role is expanding beyond social media into other marketing responsibilities.


East End Arts & Humanities Council is a 501[c][3] nonprofit organization with the mission to unite the arts community of the two forks. Since its inception in 1972, East End Arts has become a year-round hub for art and music enrichment and a showcase for artists who live, work, and visit the area with its school, gallery, and community development. The EEA Art Gallery’s exhibitions act as the catalyst for art collectors and enthusiasts to visit the growing Arts District of Riverhead to view relevant programs from established and emerging artists alike.

The EEA Art & Music School provides private lessons and group classes for music, art, writing, performance, printmaking, All Abilities, and more. The EEA Recording Studio produces ‘Matter of Spark: The East End Arts Podcast’ and services musicians, writers, and both emerging and commercial creators.

For more information, email info@eastendarts.org, call 631.727.0900, or visit eastendarts.org.



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