Amber Dixon, who previously served as interim superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools, is named the executive director of the upcoming Buffalo Arts and Technology Center at 1219 Main Street.
Amber Dixon named director of Buffalo Arts and Technology Center
Buffalo (WBEN) -- She didn't get the permanent job as Buffalo school superintendent, but Amber Dixon has moved on to a new position.
The board of directors has chosen Amber Dixon as the executive director of the upcoming Buffalo Arts and Technology Center (BATC).
"I'm thrilled to be here," Dixon said to open her remarks.
John Koelmel, president and CEO of First Niagara Financial Group, made the announcement during a Wednesday gathering at the Artspace Buffalo Lofts at 1219 Main St. That's the location where the center will operate when it opens in 2014.
The center will offer after-school arts programs for at-risk urban high school students, as well as health-sciences career training for under-employed and unemployed adults. The training will be geared toward employment opportunities at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and throughout the local health-care sector.
"... going to make sure that our students have access to lessons, to workshops, to courses, and we're going to incentivize them because that access comes with a price and the price is attendance during the day at the school you attend," Dixon said.
Dixon joins the BATC following a career in K-12 education. She most recently served as interim superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools. Before her time as an educator, Dixon also spent time working in the private sector.
The John R. Oishei Foundation, First Niagara Financial Group, Empire State Development Corporation, and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo joined forces to establish the BATC. To date, the organizations have commited more than $4 million in public-private seed money earmarked for design and build-out of vacant commercial space to accommodate the youth and adult programs.
The unusual marriage of art and vocational-training programs is modeled after entrepreneur Bill Strickland's Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, a two-pronged template for social change, which dates back four decades.
HHL Architects of Buffalo, the firm that designed the building's adaptive reuse from a circa 1900 automobile factory, and later a car dealership, to Artspace Buffalo's work/live lofts in 2007, has started preliminary designs to create the new arts/vocational training center.