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Symphony in the Flint Hills, Inc. Names New Executive Director

Symphony in the Flint Hills, Inc. has hired Leslie VonHolten as the organization’s new executive director. 

“Our nationwide search attracted the attention of many qualified candidates and we are pleased to announce that we have selected Leslie VonHolten to take the lead in advancing our mission to heighten appreciation and knowledge of the tallgrass prairie,” said Board Chair Mike Stout.

VonHolten is a familiar face in Kansas arts and culture circles. She holds bachelors’ degrees in art history and English literature, as well as a master’s in public administration from the University of Kansas. Her graduate research focused on culture-based economic development. Leslie has served as the director of programs for Humanities Kansas, a grant writer for the Lawrence Arts Center, and in community outreach for KU’s Center for East Asian Studies. She was a founding member of the Percolator art space in Lawrence and currently serves as the board president for the Garden of Eden in Lucas. 

In her spare time, Leslie writes book commentary for High Plains Public Radio in Garden City and enjoys visiting folk art sites, hiking and camping. She looks forward to moving to Chase County with her husband Tim, an elementary art teacher, and their daughter. They also have a son in college.

“There are so many artists and thinkers working in environmental and cultural preservation today,” says VonHolten, “and Symphony in the Flint Hills is a leader in this movement. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with others to strengthen the culture of this beautiful landscape.”

VonHolten will replace Christy Davis, who has served as the organization’s executive director since 2013 and plans to leave the post following the 2019 Signature Event on June 15. VonHolten will start in June. 

“I am very happy with the board’s choice and look forward to introducing Leslie to our many supporters in June,” said Davis.