Dear Friends and Community Contributors to the American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS),
The ARCS Board of Directors announces, with a blend of excitement and sadness, that our current Executive Director and co-founder Dr. Otilia Baraboi has recently accepted an Executive Director position at the Alliance Française de Seattle (AFSeattle). She assumes her new role on June 1, 2022, and will rejoin our Board to continue her support of our organization. We are grateful for her passion, inspiring vision and creativity during her leadership. We wish her the very best and great success in her new role.
We are proud to list, among Dr. Baraboi's legacy of pioneering accomplishments with ARCS, an increased impact of the first Romanian cultural organization in the Pacific Northwest, the scaling up of the Romanian Film Festival to the national level, followed by over 300 programs featuring literature, heritage education, visual and culinary arts. Despite the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, she successfully curated a full and rapid transition to all-online platforms. Due to her tremendous efforts, ARCS has reached new audiences of students, scholars, cultural non-profits and diplomats. In November 2021, Dr. Baraboi secured a home-space for ARCS at the historic MLK Center in Central Seattle, to be open this Spring. In addition, she is currently conducting a rebranding and redesign process of ARCS website and logo to accommodate our growth.
Over the next few months, the Board of Directors will launch a search for a new Executive Director. We seek an individual best able to lead during this period of transition, while still maintaining a stable Board organization for the development of our longstanding programs. An announcement for the position will soon be posted and we invite our community to help and support us through this change.
As we progress, we promise to keep our ARCS community members informed and, as always, welcome your inquiries.
Many thanks for your friendship and support /Mulțumim mult pentru încredere și susținere în toți acești ani!
Ileana Marin, President
Iulian Calinov, Secretary
Alexandrina Măicăneanu, Treasurer
Dana Cozmei, Board Member
Elizabeta Iliescu, Board Member
Michele Aoki, Board Member
Cristina Amaral, Board Member
Shelley Grant, Board Member
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear all/ Dragii mei:
I remember vividly ARCS’ first event in January 2014 at the Café Solstice in Seattle’s UDistrict. Many of us were newcomers to this country and we all gathered with a beautiful dream to build a stronger and more visible Romanian American community for our children, and the future generations. We wanted to be seen and heard, to belong and share our rich culture with our neighbors, coworkers and friends of diverse cultural backgrounds.
Often, I find myself awed and impressed with what we’ve accomplished together while I served first as President of the ARCS Board for six years, then as Executive Director for more than three years. ARCS has matured into a respected, well-established non-profit organization, with proven capacities and funds for further development at the local and national level.
My nine and a half years with ARCS, have shaped me in many ways. I remain humbled and grateful to have had this remarkable opportunity to serve our community, and to experience firsthand the potential of the civic society to change our lives. Having grown up in a former communist country where I was deprived of this understanding, these valuable skills are the most cherished gift and knowledge I bring with me in my new leadership role at the Alliance Française of Seattle.
I would like to thank you, students, parents, board members, and community friends, for providing me with this opportunity to grow as an individual and professional. I am grateful to be able to pursue my career at AFSeattle, and continue my support of ARCS’ mission and programs as a Board Member.
Cu mult drag și recunoștință/With warm regards and gratitude,
Otilia Baraboi, Executive Director and Co-Founder