Freed joins Boone Cultural Resources Department
by Anna Oakes
As of last week, the town of Boone has hired three employees to staff its new Cultural Resources Department.
Mark Freed was hired Dec. 27 to serve as the cultural programs coordinator, according to town Human Resources Director Peri Moretz. The position was created primarily to manage programs at the town's Jones House Community Center in downtown Boone.
Freed previously worked for the Watauga County Arts Council as a folklorist, coordinating the Concerts on the Lawn summer music series, music lessons for children and adults and weekly jam sessions at the Jones House.
When the partnership between the town and the Arts Council ended and the council left the Jones House last spring, Freed contracted with the town to continue programs at the Jones House.
The cultural program coordinator's salary is $38,979.
Victoria Allen was hired as a part-time cultural resources staff member Sept. 25. The position pays $12.11 per hour.
Pilar Fotta was hired as the cultural resources director in September. The director's salary is $57,720. Fotta previously served as the town's downtown development coordinator, a vacant position for which the town recently conducted interviews.
The Cultural Resources Department was created as the result of the town's decision last spring to end its contract with the Watauga Arts Council to manage the Jones House and instead directly manage the town's cultural facilities via new staff members and the new Cultural Resources Board.
Boone's cultural facilities include the Jones House, Horn in the West amphitheater, Hickory Ridge Homestead and Rivers house.