Chenango Arts Council will soon have a new executive director.

After notification that current longtime executive director, Victoria Kapel, was planning on leaving her position, the board of directors spent five months searching nationwide and locally for a new director. As of July 1st, Diane Batson-Smith will join the arts council as its new executive director.

Batson-Smith began her career in the arts by forming a repertory company in Roanoke, Virginia. She went on to receive a variety of awards with Hollywood movie studios and as an independent film producer. She was also the senior producer and project supervisor for Dreamworks, a project director and producer for Home Box Office, a studio executive for Walt Disney Productions and a co-producer for Paramount Pictures.