She wanted some place a little more like home, a little more like her native North Carolina. She wanted open space, a quiet spot to wind down and kindhearted people. She found it in Oklahoma.
Since early October, Holly Moye has served as the new executive director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, the nonprofit dedicated to helping artists realize their potential since 1988.
She arrived by way of Boston, where she worked at ArtsBridge as the director of summer and external programs. Previously, she worked with a political campaign consulting firm. Moye also received her bachelor’s degree in art history at the University of Massachusetts Boston and her masters in art history at Boston University.
Moye said she fell in love with Oklahoma City within the first 10 days of her arrival. She was not only moved by artists across the state, but also by the state’s appreciation and financial support of them. She doesn’t think the best art cities are on the East or West coasts, she thinks they’re right here in the middle of it all. She lives with her 11-year-old, 90-pound dog, Caleb.
Have you met Holly Moye?
Tell us about your experience in the art world of Boston and how that prepared you for your new position?
Within a week after starting at ArtsBridge, I noticed they had this summer educational program. I would like to head this up. It had a lot of potential for growth, not only for revenue. It had the potential for a more collaborative effort and give back to the community.
Coming the grassroots efforts of politics, I thought working with the summer program would be where my interest would lie and my passion. We did everything from performing to visual arts.
Since I was the director of this program, I built my own budget, I built my programs, I ran all of the operations.
What made you decide to move to the Midwest?
There were a bunch of reasons I wanted to leave Boston—warmer weather, nicer people and all the great things Oklahoma has to offer.
When I decided to look for another position, I looked for things in the South and Midwest. I saw the region as somewhere I could live for the rest of my life.
I came across OVAC’s website, and I was blown away. The programming they were offering was truly innovative. It finds what’s lacking in the community, and builds new programs. I loved how dedicated and passionate the staff was.
Give us an idea of what the first month as OVAC executive director has been like.
There have been a lot of meetings. That’s been intentional. I come here from North Carolina and Boston, and I just want to understand the culture. I’ve been getting familiar with what we’ve done in the past.
I attended the Arts Council conference and that was amazing. Being with 400 people who are dedicated to the arts and education, making sure they bring that education to the students in the schools.
I will be working on educational elements to our public programming, so the artist can feel more prepared, and the public can understand the process.
What is your impression of the Oklahoma art scene?
I think Oklahoma has this inferior complex that the coasts are doing more or doing better. I actually think it’s the opposite. Right now the arts here are huge. We have a community full of philanthropic people invested in the arts. I can tell you, without a doubt, you don’t have it on the same scale elsewhere.
When I came here I was blown away. Everybody’s on the same page here. Oklahomans are doing a great job of making sure the arts are alive and that our artists are able to live and produce work.