Dan Maguire

Dan Maguire

Maguire to step down as Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts director

The frontman for the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts will drop the microphone in December.

Dan Maguire, ninth-year executive director of the Port Angeles nonprofit, has announced that he will retire at the end of this year.

“I like to think of it as more of a new chapter,” Maguire said in early September.

“It’s a big world out there, and hopefully I can take advantage of it and do lots of new things that will be fun and exciting in this journey we’re all on.”

Maguire, 65, has led the foundation through a period of growth, expanding the Juan de Fuca brand from the annual music festival on Memorial Day Weekend to a year-round season concert series, he said.

The former Clallam County YMCA director also introduced to the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts (JFFA) educational programs and a performing arts camp for youth.

“Financially the organization has grown a lot,” Maguire said.

“Frankly, it’s very solid financially right now and (has) good reserves. That allows us to spend more money and take chances on more things.”

The 25-year-old Juan de Fuca Festival, which gave rise to the foundation, saw a 17 percent spike in attendance this year, Maguire said.

Its budget has more than doubled since Maguire became executive director in 2010.

“Dan’s done a great job,” said Eric Neurath, incoming JFFA board president and long-time board member. “He’s really expanded the kind of offerings we have.”

The season concert series, now a mainstay of the foundation, has averaged about 14 shows per year. It features performers from a wide array of genres.

“We’re financially sound now,” Neurath said.

“I think when (Maguire) started, that was not the case.”

The foundation’s new logo has four stripes that represent the festival, season concerts, arts education and the community, Maguire said.

“That was actually an acknowledgement that we’re way bigger than the festival,” Maguire said.

“We call the festival our flagship event, but we’re definitely a year-round organization nowadays.”

Community donations and grants account for about one-third of the foundation’s revenue. The rest comes from ticket sales.

“We get support from the donations and the volunteers that help us out,” Maguire said.

In retirement, Maguire will continue to perform his original music in local venues — he plays guitar and sings in Dan and the Juan de Fuca Band — and plans to spend his winters at his second home in Mexico.

Before he leaves the foundation, Maguire will book musicians and other performers for the 2019 Juan de Fuca Festival and much of the next concert series.

“Whether I’m working there or not, I’m always going to be going to the shows because I love them,” Maguire said.

Maguire said he made the “tough” decision to retire last spring but kept it under wraps to keep the spotlight on the festival.

“I love going to work every day,” Maguire said.

“One of the things I’m going to miss that’s made the job really special is getting to work with Carol Pope as the administrative assistant there,” he added.

“She’s just been wonderful to work with.”

The foundation has posted an advertisement for the job opening. Qualified applicants are encouraged to send a cover letter and resume to dan maguire@jffa.org by Oct. 1.

“We don’t need to find a director who’s going to reinvent the wheel,” said Neurath, a Port Angeles photographer.

“We just want to make sure they don’t break it.”

Other than collecting applications in his inbox, Maguire will have little to do with the hiring.

“We have a great board,” he said, “and I think it’s really something I should stay out of.”

In separate interviews, Maguire and Neurath said the next director will help determine the foundation’s role in the Port Angeles Waterfront Center, a performing arts venue envisioned for a vacant lot on Front Street.

Maguire said he has been meeting with waterfront center board members to discuss their “amazing project.”

“They love to work with the Juan de Fuca Foundation, and we love to work with them,” Maguire said.

“How that plays out, I’m not sure. That will be something for the new director to sink their teeth into.”

Neurath said the new director also will be tasked with attracting younger crowds to JFFA concerts without alienating its core audience in the Baby Boomer generation.

Maguire said he was “really lucky” to have served as director of the YMCA and Juan de Fuca Foundation.

“They’re both extraordinary organizations serving the community and providing programs for the people of this town, and it’s been incredibly rewarding for me,” Maguire said.

For information on the foundation, visit www.jffa.org.

Rob Ollikainen is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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