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Kassie Hilgert named new head of ArtsQuest

She will take the reins from current president Jeff Parks next year

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Kassie Hilgert will be the new president and CEO of ArtsQuest, the Bethlehem-based organization that has given the world Musikfest.

She will officially assume those positions when current ArtsQuest president and founder Jeff Parks retires in January.

Founded in 1984, the non-profit organization focuses on presenting music, arts, festivals and education.

In addition to Musikfest, which will be Aug. 1-10 in Bethlehem, ArtsQuest is the creative force behind RiverJazz, Christkindlkmarkt Bethlehem, the Sabor Latin Festival and more.

Hilgert currently is  ArtsQuest's senior vice president of marketing and advancement.

She will be working closely with Parks during the next several months, which will include meeting with ArtsQuest staff, board members, volunteers, sponsors, partners and members of the community.

"Since joining ArtsQuest in 2008, Kassie has demonstrated amazing leadership abilities, an incredible passion for our arts and cultural mission and a thorough understanding of the Lehigh Valley and the many elements that make it so special," said Joe Pietrantonio, president of ArtsQuest's board of trustees, in announcing the appointment Tuesday.

Pietrantonio called Hilgert's appointment one of the biggest announcements in ArtsQuest's 30-year-history.

"Under her leadership, ArtsQuest will continue be a national leader in providing access to exceptional arts and cultural programs and events," he said.

"Kassie has developed numerous partnerships with local, regional and national corporate partners, community organizations and foundations, helping ArtsQuest greatly expand its arts and cultural programming in recent years."

 In her current position, Hilgert  is responsible for overseeing the sponsorship, marketing, development, ticketing, public relations and volunteer departments, which include 27 full- and part-time employees.

Pietrantonio said in May 2015, Parks will assume a part-time position as the new executive director of the non-profit ArtsQuest Foundation, which was established "to help ensure the long-term sustainability of our organization as we continue to grow and expand our programming for the region. "


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