Please join all of us at United Arts in congratulating our longtime president and CEO, Eleanor Oakley, on her upcoming retirement. This is Eleanor’s last week in the office, and although she is reluctant to be in the spotlight, we wanted to pay tribute to her and her legacy at United Arts.

During Eleanor’s 18 years at United Arts, she expanded the Artists in Schools program, began master classes for high school arts departments, created the Wheels on the Bus fund, established the Wake County Artist in Residence program, helped create the Piedmont Laureate program, launched the Wake Municipals Murals program, established our Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? fundraiser, and so much more.

United Arts Board Chair Mark Steward commented, “During Eleanor’s tenure with the United Arts Council, she has been a change agent, while at the same time being the guiding force that has kept to a singular focus to bring the arts to the citizens of Wake County, specifically its children. Bravo, Eleanor, on a job well done!”

Not only will the arts community miss Eleanor’s steadfast and determined leadership, but the staff at United Arts will miss her longstanding and thoughtful guidance. We wish her well in all her future endeavors, and hope her next act in life gives her great happiness. Eleanor may be retiring, but as she likes to say, “I’ll be watching…”