The Art Alliance of Idyllwild, in its first open board election by the membership, avoided a full vote and balloting.

“We have 11 candidates for 11 open seats,” said Interim Director/Administrator Adrian Adams. “There was one withdrawal and one addition to the slate. Because the election is uncontested, there is no need for balloting. Accordingly, the 11 candidates will be seated as the new Board of Directors at our election meeting.”

The election meeting to seat directors will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Town Hall. New directors will introduce themselves to the audience and after a short organizational meeting the board will elect its officers — president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Adams had previously emailed candidates’ statements to AAI members.

The new AAI Board of Directors is: Cate (last name not listed), Byron Ely, Darcy Gerdes, Terryann Halloran, Gerry High, Del Marcussen, Erin O’Neill, Shanna Robb, Veda Roubideaux, Peter Szabadi and Barry Zander.

None of the former board members sought to be reseated. After mass resignations of the previous board on April 15, Adams, of the law firm Adams Kessler, accepted the position of interim director/administrator. He was charged with creating the mechanism for holding a direct election of directors by the AAI membership. Adams set up nomination procedures and noted that if there were only 11 candidates, balloting would not be necessary. The 11 certified candidates would assume the 11 available seats.

At times before cutoff of nominations end of day Sunday, April 26 there were as many as 15 candidates. Some who had been nominated by others withdrew, one was added over the weekend and one withdrew just prior to closing of the slate.

With the election, AAI closes a divisive chapter that began with acrimonious standoffs between members, volunteers and the board elected in late 2014. With a new board and officers to be selected by the board at the May 16 meeting, AAI, one of the most prestigious nonprofits in Idyllwild, can move forward with new faces and a new start.

Chris Trout, AAI co-founder, said this of the opportunity for the organization: “Rarely in life does an organization, a business or even an individual have the opportunity to push rewind and rebuild with fresh viewpoints, doses of new energy and the continued support of members, constituents and supporters. The AAI has that opportunity now … I am thrilled to see longtime member Gerry High step up to add his wisdom and experience as an artist and an art educator. It will be great to welcome back Darcy Gerdes, stalwart citizen and imaginative artist. Veda Roubideaux has walked hundreds of miles with me on trails all over this county and her perspective always shows evidence of patience and reasonableness.

“I applaud the collaborative skills of Shanna Robb as she works to bring the community together to benefit from talent in both the performing and visual arts. I would hope that the needs of the business community will be considered in a synergistic effort to support the economic base of our village. It would also be wonderful to have advisors to the board from the Idyllwild School and Idyllwild Arts Academy to monitor and inspire the mission of supporting arts education in Idyllwild. Let’s all lift a glass in salute to commitment to and passion for the arts.”

Once the new directors are seated and officers elected, check the AAI website for new information at