New director leads West Windsor Arts Council

Playwright Eduardo Garcia has spent most of his career in arts administration

By: Emily Craighead
   WEST WINDSOR — A new director has taken over the helm of the West Windsor Arts Council, bringing with him an understanding of what it takes to run an arts program and what it means to be an artist.
   Eduardo Garcia, who is also executive director of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama, faces the task of broadening the council’s program offerings and working with the township administration to coordinate the transformation of the former Princeton Junction firehouse into an arts center.
   A playwright, Mr. Garcia has spent most of his career working in arts administration.
   During his 30 years in arts administration, he has been executive director of the Monmouth County Arts Council, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the Newark Arts Council. He was a regional representative for the National Endowment for the Arts and was executive director of New Jersey Literacy in the Arts Task Force. He was also the manager of the Arts Challenge Fund, a collaborative of 22 corporations and foundations that awarded more than $1 million to arts organizations in New Jersey.
   Mr. Garcia’s main responsibilities with the Arts Council will be to facilitate strategic planning, capital fundraising and event programming. He will also work with members of the Arts Council and other interested volunteers to facilitate the conversion of the old firehouse on Alexander Road into the West Windsor Arts Center.
   "It’s an exciting challenge to define programming," Mr. Garcia said. "It’s going to be a good process as we slowly expand."
   Part of his focus will be to establish quality children’s programming that would also appeal to other age groups.
   A 20-year resident of Plainsboro, Mr. Garcia recently moved to Monroe.
   He said he has been impressed by the community’s commitment to encouraging involvement in the arts, and the programs the Arts Council already has in place, such as occasional events at Nassau Park shopping center.
   "I always have enjoyed working with a community that has an interest in arts and culture," he said.
   Mr. Garcia grew up in an artistic family. His father was a successful visual artist, and he is a writer. Working in arts administration has allowed him to continue to work on his own plays.
   "I’m very lucky in the sense I’ve been able to work with artists, though maybe not in my own field," he said. "They understand I have experienced what they do. That’s always stood me in good stead."
   In his plays, Mr. Garcia explores the gray area in issues other people might view as black and white, he said.
   Some of his plays have been produced, but he said, "I continue to be a struggling artist and have no desire to leave it anytime soon."