New Executive Director Selected for Center for the Arts

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Provided by the Center for the Arts

Beverly Williams Hess has been named the next executive director of the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory on 9410 Battle Street, Manassas.

Hess is currently the director of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William. She will take over management of the Center August 17, after 10 years with the Youth Orchestras, an award-winning non-profit youth organization in Woodbridge, Virginia. Hess replaces Sally Lay who is retiring after leading the Center for 28 years.

Beverly Williams Hess

Beverly Williams Hess

Hess was selected for her leadership in arts promotion and her unique skills in management, training, development and community relations,” said Mary Finnigan, president of the board of directors for the Center for the Arts. “And she shares a passion for our mission—to enrich, entertain and celebrate our community through superior arts, education and programs. That’s why she was our unanimous choice to help us achieve our ambitious goals in the future,” adds Finnigan.

“I believe that the arts are vital to our communities and I work throughout Virginia to promote the importance of the arts,” explains Hess. She served on the Virginians for the Arts board as treasurer and the Prince William County Arts Council board.  Hess is also a member of the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Resident Arts Partner group and marketing committee.  Since completing Leadership Prince William in 2011, she has co-chaired the Arts and Culture Day for the program with the mission of educating the community leaders on the necessity of arts in our lives. Most recently, she served on the Virginia Commission for the Arts’ Grant Panel.  “Sally has done an excellent job of building the Center for the Arts as a focal point of the community. I am excited to join the staff and board to continue building the grand tradition,” adds Hess.

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The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County sponsors theatrical productions for children and adults, teaches arts classes, promotes visual arts and provides community outreach programs for local youth. Founded in 1984 by a group of artists and art lovers, the Center for the Arts aims to enrich the quality of life in the Northern Virginia suburbs through arts performance and education. A theater, an art gallery and classrooms are located in the three-story, historic Candy Factory building in Old Town Manassas, at 9419 Battle Street. The third floor provides additional space for lectures, poetry readings, recitals and chamber concerts. For more information, call 703-330-2787 or visit  


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