The new director of the Carroll County Arts Council will finish her first week on the job handling one of the organization's major annual events.
Sandra M. Oxx, 37, found out Friday that she will replace Hilary Hatfield, who resigned in March to become business manager for a local sculptor.
Oxx plunged right in yesterday, making last-minute arrangements for "Art in the Park," an event that usually takes months to plan.
"I might as well start with a big event," she said.
About 50 artists will exhibit their works from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, drawing thousands of visitors to the grounds of Westminster City Hall.
Several performers also will entertain the crowds with dancing, comedy and music.
Oxx sees the event as a ground-breaker and -- maybe -- an ice-breaker.
She will be introducing herself to artists and spectators and taking some small credit for the event's success.
If there is any problem, she can always say she's new on the job, she said.
With 15 years' experience in the arts field, most recently as director of development for the Rochester Museum and Science Center in New York, Oxx has learned the art of resourcefulness.
That, coupled with her talent and enthusiasm, drew the search committee to her.
The seven-member committee, appointed by the council board of directors, had pared down a list of about 70 applicants to three before settling on Oxx.
"Sandy came to us with a good arts background, a good background in development and fund-raising, and she presented herself well," said Michael S. Levin, president of the council board and chairman of the search committee.
"She has a real passion for the arts and will continue on the same high levels we have already reached."
Under Hatfield's leadership, the arts council's membership climbed from 500 to 1,500, and the annual budget grew from $60,000 to $154,000.
Best in state
When the Maryland State Arts Council recognized Carroll County's arts council as the best in the state last year, many credited Hatfield.
Those accolades and a firm promise of support from the former director drew Oxx to the job.
Oxx said she has no plans to "re-create the wheel."
"Who would not want to work for the best arts council in the state?" Oxx said. "I am getting on a winning team from the start."
The new job involves "everything I have been doing for the last 15 years. I get to do something I am good at and comfortable with," Oxx said.
Oxx earned a bachelor of arts in music therapy from Colorado State University and a master's degree in arts management from New York University.
Levin said the council will rely heavily on her proven fund-raising abilities as it creates a capital campaign for sustaining contributions.
"Even the Smithsonian has to raise money, although the job is easier when you are well-known," Oxx said.
Oxx, who will soon move to Mount Airy with her husband and 4-year-old son, said her greatest challenge will be to make the entire county think of the Westminster-based council as its own.
"I want to have as strong a presence in Mount Airy and Hampstead as I have here," she said. "When people see what we are doing, the support will come."
Pub Date: 6/03/97