The Westport Arts Center is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors, spanning the disciplines of financial services, art, and design.

New members of the Westport Arts Center Board include Oliver Pursche, Shari Lebowitz, and Leonard Everett Fisher, joining an already diverse and accomplished Board of Directors.

Oliver Pursche brings a wealth of financial experience to the Westport Arts Center Board of Directors.  He has over 20 years of investment management, capital markets and corporate leadership experience working for some of the most venerable public and private financial institutions in the world, including Paine Webber (now UBS), Neuberger Berman, and Trust Company of America.

In his role as a financial advisor, Pursche has been named “amongst the best of the best” by Barron’s Magazine six years in a row as part of their “Top Independent Advisor” annual ranking. Pursche is a regular contributor on CNBC, Bloomberg Radio and Television, and other financial networks, and has authored a book on immigration policy, as well as regularly writing articles for Kiplinger’s and Forbes magazines.

Pursche has also been a long-term supporter of the arts, including being a member of New York City Ballet Serenade Society, and a multi-year involvement in the Fairfield Theater Company.

Shari Lebowitz is the owner of Bespoke Designs, a couture invitation, stationery and celebrations studio in downtown Westport. She has served on the Board of Directors for Publicolor, a long-term youth development program that provides mentoring and engages underserved students in design programs. She previously owned her own interior design firm in New York for over 20 years before opening Bespoke Designs.

Lebowitz has been featured in various publications including Traditional Home, Westchester Cottages & GardensConnecticut Cottages and GardensEast Coast HomesNew York House, and in several online blogs. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she has shared her joy of working with artists and artisans while creating primary and secondary homes for clients nationwide.

Leonard Everett Fisher is a renowned and beloved member of the Westport artist community. Following his army service during World War II as a photogrammetrist (making topographical maps from aerial photographs), he attended Yale University’s School of Art, earning BFA and MFA degrees, was a recipient of Yale’s Winchester Fellowship and John Ferguson Weir Prize, and taught Design Theory as a Yale graduate teaching fellow. He served as the Dean of the Whitney School of Art, and was at the time the youngest academic officer in America. He has served and continues to serve on the Sanford Low Illustration Committee of the New Britain Museum of American Art. In 1982 he was named Academic Dean Emeritus of the Paier College of Art.

Fisher’s paintings, drawings, and illustrations from his 70-year career were the subject of a 2015 retrospective at the Westport Arts Center. In addition to his prolific life as a painter, Fisher has illustrated some 250 books for young readers (1955-2007), authoring 90 of them, has designed 10 United States postage stamps, and has served three terms as President of the Westport Board of Trustees. His art is represented in public and private collections across the country.

In his new role, Fisher will be focused on helping to bring the Westport Artists Museum, a key component of the Arts Center’s proposed move to Baron’s South, to fruition. He hopes to generate community interest and support for the project, and will be leading speaking engagements on the topic throughout the community.

Amanda Innes, Executive Director of the Westport Arts Center, stated, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have these three talented individuals join our Board. Their experience and talents will have an immediate impact on the Westport Arts Center and our greater community.”

For more information on the current slate of the Westport Arts Center Board of Directors, please contact Leslie LaSala at leslie@westportartscenter.org or 203/222-7070.

About the Westport Arts Center

The Westport Arts Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting community through the arts, reaches more than 11,000 people annually through outstanding programs in visual arts, arts education, and the performance arts of Chamber music and jazz.

The Westport Arts Center receives philanthropic support from the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation; Anthropologie & Co.; Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc.; Bernstein Private Wealth Management; Cohen and Wolf, P.C.; Critical Mix; Delamar Southport; Design Within Reach; Dragone Motor Cars; Fairfield County Bank; Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; Fairfield County Hunt Club; 4th Row Films; First County Bank Foundation; GWAY Print Solutions; Hal Prince Music; the Hall Art Foundation; The Hofstetter Baron Group; Hotel Zero Degrees; J.P. Morgan; Land Rover/Jaguar of Fairfield; Moffly Media; Newman’s Own Foundation; Northeast Tent; Random Acts; Rosenkranz Foundation; Serena & Lily; Shack Sackler Foundation; Sontag Advisory LLC; Steven Mancini Salon; Success Printing & Mailing; Teich Gardens; Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Verde Energy USA, Inc.; Wells Fargo Advisors; Westport Now; Westport Resources, a division of United Capital; WPKN and WSHU Public Radio Group. The Westport Arts Center operates with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

For more information, contact the Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070 or www.westportartscenter.org. The Westport Arts Center gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.

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Attached Images:

  1. New WAC Board Member Leonard Everett Fisher. Photo by Xenia Gross.
  2. New WAC Board Member Shari Lebowitz. Photo by Xenia Gross.
  3. New WAC Board Member Oliver Pursche. Contributed photo.

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