Art council’s Aguilar asked to lead CitiFest

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 18

CitiFest officials have made an offer to the woman they want to be the organization’s next executive director.

After a board meeting yesterday, the organization asked Jan Aguilar, the executive director of the Performing Arts Council of Toledo, to take over the organization, a nonprofit group that plans public events like the summertime Rallies by the River.

“The offer was made this afternoon,” Lisa Silverman, interim CitiFest administrator, said.

Through an assistant at the arts council, Ms. Aguilar refused to comment on the offer.

If she accepts the job, she would replace Terri Marshall, who resigned in February after holding the post for less than a year.

As director of the arts council, Ms. Aguilar plans one of the city’s largest public events, the annual First Night Toledo celebration on New Year’s Eve.

Ms. Aguilar was one of two finalists for the position, along with Shelley Crossley, events coordinator for United Health Services. Ms. Crossley plans the annual Northwest Ohio Rib-Off and Taste of Toledo. The finalists interviewed with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner on Tuesday before the mayor left for his trip to Japan.

CitiFest has had a tumultuous last few months. In January, the organization had its liquor permit revoked after some of its volunteers were caught selling beer to underage drinkers last summer.

It had serious financial problems until the city agreed last month to give it $450,000 over three years in exchange for four seats on CitiFest’s board.

Ms. Silverman, who is helping to run CitiFest until a permanent executive director is hired, said the organization hoped to get a response to the offer by tomorrow.