The St. Tammany Art Association Board of Directors has selected Kim Bergeron to serve as the organization’s new Executive Director. She succeeds Cindy Pulling, who left the organization earlier this year. Also announced is new Marketing and Program Director, Renae Friedley, and the promotion of Peggy DesJardins to Art House Coordinator.
Bergeron is best known for the decade of service she provided via the City of Slidell’s Department of Cultural and Public Affairs, the last six of which were served as the department director. Programs created via her efforts include “Some Enchanted Evening with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra” annual concert in Heritage Park, the Bayou Jam spring and fall concert series and a partnership with the New Orleans Museum of Art for which she secured the works of George Rodrigue, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Joan Miró for exhibit in the city owned art gallery. She also created the city’s cultural season program and amassed over $650,000 in grants and sponsorships for the municipality’s arts programming and its outdoor gallery of murals.
With more than 30 years of advertising, marketing and public relations experience, Bergeron’s arts programming and marketing for the city has garnered over two dozen national awards, including a Telly Award for the City of Slidell’s post-Katrina mini-documentary and the National League of Cities’ Gold Award for Municipal Excellence. She is a two-time recipient of the City-County Communications and Marketing Association’s President’s Award, a national honor presented annually to a single marketing plan deemed the most outstanding from over 600 Savvy Award submissions. A graduate of the Leadership Northshore program, Bergeron also has been recognized with numerous awards for her arts advocacy efforts and community service.
Friedley has more than 40 years of experience as a writer and photographer, plus extensive experience in graphic design and marketing. Her work has appeared in publications such as Denver Magazine, Shot in LA, The Sun Coast Beach Reporter, The Fine Arts Trader, and Black Arts in America. From 1996-2005, she was the publisher/editor of the Gulf Coast Arts & Entertainment Review. She is the author of Images of Breaux Bridge, published by Arcadia Publishing in March 2014, and Loving Louisiana: Celebrating the Cultures and Traditions of South Louisiana, published by Creative Endeavors Ink in 2016. Ms. Friedley has a BA in English Literature, a MA in MuseumStudies, and a MA in Creative Writing.
“Kim is a passionate arts administrator with a proven record of making big things happen,” said Duane Cormier, STAA Board President. “Renae’s expertise and experience will prove invaluable as we move forward, as will Peggy’s long term dedication to and knowledge of the organization. We’re looking forward to the energy and vision as this new ‘A-Team’ works to grow the arts and the cultural economy throughout the region.”
Cormier says the Board and STAA members are grateful for the outstanding leadership and achievements of former Executive Director Cindy Pulling, and for the tireless efforts of Sarah Bonnette, the arts columnist for The Times-Picayune’s northshore editions, who served as the interim director while the board conducted the search for its new team.
“I know I have some pretty big shoes to fill,” said Bergeron. “Cindy is loved and appreciated by the STAA members and the community. I can only hope to earn the same level of trust and respect as we continue to build on the remarkable foundation that she and her predecessors so beautifully created.”
The St. Tammany Art Association was founded in 1958, and is based in downtown Covington within its Art House fine art gallery. Its mission is to provide quality programming and cultural enrichment to the community, to support established artists, promote emerging artists, and produce educational arts-related activities for children and adults of all ages throughout the Northshore community. The cultural offerings provide an enhanced quality of life and a tremendous economic engine that fuels enhanced commerce and tourism.