East End Arts Executive Director Patricia Snyder announced today that she will retire at the end of 2018 from the non-profit cultural organization and music school in Riverhead. She has been a staff member for 23 years. East End Arts has launched a search for her replacement.

“It has been an honor to lead East End Arts over the years,” Snyder stated in the announcement. “My life has been enriched through my work in ways I never could have anticipated. I’ve learned first-hand about the power of the arts to make a difference and have had the pleasure to meet and work with a multitude of amazing creative people. As I move forward to my next adventure I will keep those memories close to my heart.”

Snyder has been part of the East End Art’s (EEA) staff for 23 years. She began her career in 1995 as the Education Director to the newly-formed EEA School and was appointed Executive Director in 2001.

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East End Arts Executive Director Patricia Synder, right, with Vito Gentile, Maria Daddino and Peter Beston at the 2014 EEA Gala. Photo Lenny Stucker / lennystucker.com. Courtesy EEA. Courtesy EEA.

East End Arts Executive Director Patricia Synder, right, with Vito Gentile, Maria Daddino and Peter Beston at the 2014 EEA Gala. Photo Lenny Stucker / lennystucker.com. Courtesy EEA. Courtesy EEA.

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As Education Director at East End Arts School, Snyder set the groundwork for a regional School of the Arts by developing the music education program, introducing the visual art instruction and creating a summer camp program. Student enrollment grew from 45 students in 1995 to its current 600 students of all ages.

As Executive Director, Snyder led EEA to gain enhanced visibility and substantial growth. She spearheaded signature programs including the Teeny Awards, Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival, JumpstART, Winterfest and Music Masters Mentorship Program. To help fund the organization’s growth, Snyder was responsible for raising over $1.5 million for program development and capital improvements, according to EEA.

Further accomplishments include overseeing the renovation of the EEA Carriage House that allowed for new artist studio space, a recording studio and a studio apartment for visiting artists. She initiated expanded programming set in satellite locations in The Hamptons and the North Fork.

EEA Board President John McLane stated, “Pat Snyder has brought strong creativity and direction to programming and growth at East End Arts and the broader community. Our membership and school offerings have grown, and events like Winterfest, Community Mosaic and Teeny Awards have contributed significantly to our local economy and sense of community. Finding her replacement is a challenge our board has begun undertaking.”

Under her leadership, EEA received the 2011 Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award, the 2016 Smart Growth Award from Vision Long Island and 2017 Imagine Award for Art & Culture and other honors.

Snyder herself has been the recipient of numerous awards that honor her contributions to the community at large including the 2005 Culture Award from the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce; Woman of the Year by the East End Women’s Network and others. She is the current chair of the Suffolk County Arts Advisory Board and sits on the Advisory Council for Long Island Arts Alliance and the Coltrane Home.

East End Arts offers classes in music, art and theater for students and adults and hosts an art gallery that presents themed shows for its members, invited artists and a national open call exhibition. They also host a series of off-site art shows at alternative venues on the North Fork and Riverhead. For the full list of events and programs, click here.

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BASIC FACTS: East End Arts is located at 133 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901.  www.eastendarts.org.

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