Arts Festival Staff
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts employs three full-time staff who also produce and manage First Night State College. Scroll down to learn more about:
- Rick Bryant, Executive Director
- Carol Baney, Director of Operations
- Diane Bloom, Director of Development
Our work is also supported by Annie and John Nelson of Brown & Associates, Inc. Bookkeeping Services, and Doris Mack, Performing Arts Consultant. Our website has been designed and is supported by The Denovati Group.
Rick Bryant, Executive Director
Rick Bryant joined the paid staff of the CPFA as its director of visual arts in 1999, though his involvement with the Festival dates back to 1984, when he first volunteered on the Trash Crew. Rick was named Executive Director of the CPFA in 2005.
Born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, before the county hospital moved to State College, Rick attended public schools in State College, and afterward the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Architecture in 1979.
After college he toiled away in the insurance business and pursued professional education, earning a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation in 1986. He completed the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program in 2013.
In addition to serving as a long-time Festival volunteer, he has volunteered for many community organizations. He has served on many committees and boards including the board of the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, the State College Board of Health, the Board of Deacons of State College Presbyterian Church, the Community Advisory Board for Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts, and the State College Historic Resources Commission. He currently serves as the chair of the State College Design Review Board.
You can read about Rick’s adventures as a doofus hipster-wannabe at his blog, The Wandering Wahoo.
Carol Baney, Director of Operations
Carol Baney has been with the Festival for nearly twenty years. She is a native of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. After attending public school in Bellefonte, she received an associate in arts degree from the Hagerstown Business College in Maryland. She has continued her post-college education and earned an associate in liberal arts degree from Penn State in 2009.
Prior to joining the Festival, Carol worked at the Washington Hospital Center for twelve years as a medical assistant for the chairman of the Department of Orthopedics, and also in the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing. Carol notes that the stress levels of the Festival do not compare to those of a large urban hospital.
Carol holds a Master Gardener certification from Penn State Cooperative Extension and Emergency Medical Technician certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In March 2013 and again in 2014, one of Carol’s dreams–to visit Africa–came true when she volunteered at the Urkundo Home and Learning Center in the Muhanga District of Rwanda.
Diane Bloom, Director of Development
Diane Bloom joined the Festival staff in January 2007. She worked for Penn State for thirty-five years, the last thirty-one at the Center for the Performing Arts, where she was responsible for fundraising and special events. Obviously, her retirement was short lived!
Diane’s interest and pursuits in photography have given her the title of “Designated Photographer” for the Festival office. She takes great pleasure in capturing not only photographs of sponsored Festival events and First Night ice sculptures and activities, but also of artists, art work, and volunteers.
Diane has served as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association as well as with the Festival. On occasion, you will find her serving as classroom “grandparent” in the schools attended by the little ones. She takes great pleasure in nurturing her many gardens, which serve as a source of mental therapy. She and her husband, Barry, also “retired,” enjoy traveling—both on their Harley as well as to places such as Alaska and the Caribbean. Diane and Barry have two children, Krista and Jason, as well as three granddaughters, Paige, Katelyn, and Julie, and one new grandson, Parker.