News Cummings Resigns As Pac Executive Director - Garrett College
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Campus News

October 2nd, 2023

Cummings resigns as PAC executive director

PAC transitioned from concept to launch under Cummings' leadership

Mary Cummings

Mary Mateer Cummings has resigned after serving four years as executive director of the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College.

Mary Mateer Cummings, whose leadership helped establish the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College, resigned as the PAC's executive director, effective October 1.

"What a great honor it's been for me professionally to be part of the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College," said Cummings, who was appointed the PAC's first executive director in October 2019. "I appreciate the opportunity to be part of this project, which is so impactful to Garrett County."

"Mary's energy, vision, and hard work have played an important role in bringing the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College to life," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. "The College and the county were fortunate to have someone with her deep commitment to bringing a performing arts center to Garrett County as our first executive director."

Julie Yoder, dean of continuing education and workforce development, also praised Cummings' contributions to the PAC.

"Mary taught me a great deal about the performing arts during her time with us," said Yoder, who provides administrative oversight for the PAC. "Her experience and knowledge, paired with her local, regional, and statewide connections, helped us successfully launch the Performing Arts Center.

"We learned a lot during the first year of operation," added Yoder. "I have appreciated Mary's commitment to our partners, and the community, as we overcame challenges and welcomed opportunities."

Cummings, who has served as executive director for the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF) since 2010, will transition into a consulting role in support of GLAF through the end of the calendar year. In that role, she will assist GLAF in many of the functions she has helped lead in delivering quality, enriching, and diverse programming for the community.

"Mary has had a tremendous impact on the Garrett County arts community," said Fred Fox, chair of the GLAF Board of Directors. "And I know the Board deeply appreciates her willingness to continue in a consulting role as GLAF takes the opportunity to develop a long-term plan for its future going into the new year and beyond."

Midcap and Fox said the PAC Memorandum of Understanding between the College and GLAF – which called for a joint PAC/GLAF executive director – will be paused to give GLAF the opportunity for strategic planning across a number of functions.

"The College wants to provide GLAF the time it needs to assess how it wishes to operate in the future," said Midcap.

"GLAF remains a full and valued PAC partner," added Midcap. "The College has the administrative resources to manage the PAC during this transitionary period. We – the College and GLAF – will revise the MOU as necessary to support GLAF's future vision."

Yoder said the timing of this review is opportune.

"With the PAC online for nearly a year, and Mary resigning, it's a good time for the College and GLAF to review our agreement," said Yoder. "We also want to ensure that our other PAC partners – Garrett County Public Schools, Garrett County Arts Council, and Garrett County Government – have input as to how the PAC team moves forward."

Yoder said Chantel Lowdermilk, the College's events coordinator, will take on additional duties in PAC management until a permanent plan is finalized.

"We all have total confidence in Chantel's ability to oversee PAC operations until we implement a more permanent plan," said Yoder.

Cummings began serving as PAC executive director nearly three years before the $21 million building was officially opened. She said that organizational time played a key role in the PAC's successful launch during its first year of operations, as did the broad support of her Garrett College colleagues.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty and staff of Garrett College for the professionalism and expertise they provided," said Cummings. "That was critical to making this project a success. I won't starting ‘naming names' as there are far too many people who supported the PAC's development to list them all."

Prior to accepting the GLAF position, Cummings was responsible for employee recruitment with both First United Bank and Trust in Oakland and TeleTech Corporation in Morgantown, W.Va. She has served on the Maryland State Arts Council grants review panel as well as the Garrett College Foundation Board of Directors.

Cummings – who is also a member of the Oakland Rotary and a graduate of Leadership Garrett County's Class of 2017 – said the performing arts center was "literally a dream come true."

"To be fortunate enough to be part of this project has been the highest achievement of my professional career," said Cummings. "I look forward to the many exciting projects that the performing arts center will be able to offer our community in the future."