[Courtesy photo]

The Moab Arts and Recreation Center is a cornerstone of the Moab community, putting on annual events such as the Moab Art Walks, Market on Center and Red Rock Arts Festival. In mid-January, Kelley McInerney took over as the arts and special events director of the organization—she previously worked as an administrative assistant at the city.

Now a month and a half in, the Moab Sun News chatted with McInerney about her new job and what the MARC has in store for the future.

Moab Sun: How’s the job going?

McInerney: I really, really like it over here. It’s such a cool team to be a part of.

Moab Sun: What does your typical workday look like?

McInerney: It depends. Some days we have pretty typical office days, where we’re just grinding away on emails and answering phone calls. But we also get to do really cool things, like go to the airport and hang new art or help with the install of new sculptures like Serena’s bench outside of City Hall. We’re also still running out winter classes, so while we’re doing that, we have a lot of class set up and working with instructors. We get to do a little bit of everything, which keeps it exciting.

Moab Sun: Why did you decide to apply for and take this job?

McInerney: I was working in the admin offices for the city, and I would help with the arts department on some of their projects. I just fell in love with the MARC and what they had over here—I would go to the markets on center and all the art walks. So when the position opened up, it was just a really great opportunity. I have a background in special events too, so it was a pretty good fit.

Moab Sun: The MARC does so many things in this community—how would you define the MARC’s role in the community? And how do you expect that to change?

McInerney: I think the MARC has a pretty dynamic role right now. It’s almost seen as a community center because we have these rental spaces. You can come in and have an event here, but it’s also a creative space for everyone from experienced artists to students exploring different mediums of art. We have a wide range of what we do here, and we’re happy to be a part of the community.

The past staff here have really established some great groundwork—they’ve started different programs, they’ve tried to get the community involved with public art programs. So I’m just trying to build on that and create more awareness to increase participation in all our events and programs, so that people can feel that sense of community and meet new people and try new things.

Moab Sun: What do you have lined up for this year?

McInerney: For the rest of this year, we’re hosting some of the programs that you’ve seen in the past, like the art walks and farmers markets. We plan on doing those things again but making a few small changes—since we have a new team over here, we want the events to be our own, and reflect things that we want to see. We want to make sure the events continue to be lively and interesting, so that you want to keep coming back.

Moab Sun: Do you have anything else you want to add?

McInerney: I want people to know you don’t have to be artistic or consider yourself artsy to participate in our events. They really are community programs, and we want everyone to feel welcome. If people have programs that they’d like to see running at the MARC or ideas for programs, let us know, because we really want this to be a fun and welcoming place for everyone.