A FAREWELL LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dorsi Diaz standing with a banner with two children at the shoreline.

A FAREWELL LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR



NOVEMBER 30, 2023

After ten years at the Sun Gallery, Dorsi Diaz has retired from the role of Executive Director of the Sun Gallery. Dorsi will remain as the part-time Curator at the Sun. This change comes at a time when the organization is achieving tremendous growth and is poised for the next generation of leadership. To ensure a smooth and effective transition, Anthony (Paki) Ahkoi will be serving as the Interim Executive Director as of December 1, 2023. Anthony came on board in November.

Dorsi’s full farewell letter is below.

———Dear Friends,

For ten years, I have had the distinct honor and privilege of leading the Sun Gallery as its Executive Director. Serving at the Sun has been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had during my decades as a business administrator and fellow creative. The challenges have been great, but the people of this community are what makes the Sun even GREATER. I can’t count the amount of times that I have been told what a big impact the Gallery’s programming has had on your children, as well as you.

I’ve seen time and time again that a positive, creative and artistic space with encouraging staff and leadership has absolutely no limits. I always tell people that we are not the “little engine that can’t”, but instead we are the “little engine that CAN, and DOES”….even when under fire, understaffed, through fires, even a Pandemic DID NOT SHUT US DOWN FOREVER!

I have a little sign by my desk that says “I can & I will. WATCH ME”. But to be clear, the Gallery has never been about me, or 1 person, it has survived because of the support of YOU. When the odds were stacked against us surviving the Pandemic closures, while we cleaned up after a major fire (that happened just days into the Pandemic), YOU, OUR COMMUNITY, helped us rebuild again.

Then we got the opportunity in 2022 to EXPAND with the help of our community again, when you voted for us to renovate and build out our Makerspace, with the help of the Hayward Techies and Makers, staff, and Board of Directors. We were also able to renovate our tired courtyard into a fun and vibrant space! Last but not least, a thank you to our City leaders that have consistently believed in & supported us, through grants as well as goodwill. We appreciate you recognizing how important creativity, imagination, culture, art and makers are for everyone. I humbly thank each & every one of you for ALL your support over the decades!

As our mission states: The Sun Gallery “Builds Community Through Creativity”. We really do!

A special shout out to our friends at the Hayward Arts Council and A.R.T. Inc. Good organizations do not exist in a bubble, or alone, so together with these other arts organizations in the area we have forged a solid path forward, together, to keep arts in our schools, as well as in the lives of all of our community members!

During my time at the Sun Gallery, I am especially
proud that we have elevated the #1 threat we face as humans – the issue of climate change, out into the public’s eyes through art, education, workshops and classes using recycled materials. This year we just celebrated our 10th Annual Exhibit on Climate Change, which started at the Sun, then traveled to the John O’Lague Galleria inside Hayward City Hall. In 2015 we were recognized by the City of Hayward for “Outstanding Efforts To Preserve and Enhance Our Environment” by Barbara Halliday, former mayor of Hayward, plus the City Council.

I am honored as well to have been a part of the incredible growth that the Sun Gallery has experienced in the last 10 years. There are so many “gems” and “hidden” talents everywhere in this community, and I am always blown away by your work and talents! And if you are one of those, or just someone that wants to create for fun, maybe make a little extra money, or hang out with fun and eclectic people, you really need to take the leap and get involved with us.

Art making and creating CHANGES LIVES, I see it happen all the time!

In closing, I want to thank all of you for treasuring the Sun Gallery as the historical arts institution & cultural gem that it is, and for entrusting me with this treasure for over 10 years now.

Going forward, as Curator, I will always continue to lift up the Sun, its staff and its leadership. I will always encourage you, your children and your friends in life and creativity. I am looking forward to enhancing our exhibits and continuing to help artists experience new growth opportunities.

And finally, a heartfelt thanks to my fellow staff members for your professionalism, loyalty, and friendship. It has been an honor working beside you! And Linda, I’ll still need my labels!

Thank you all for this wonderful journey!

Best wishes and I will still see many of you around! Stay creative!

-Dorsi

The Holiday Boutique is open tomorrow – Sunday
from 11-4. December 1,2,3 and 8,9 & 10

Gift shop items sold & space rentals help support the Sun Gallery’s children’s programs such as Free Art Saturday Family Classes, environmental education plus our local artists and crafters.

PB160002
The Gallery, a non-profit organization, is celebrating its 48th year in the community and is lo
cated at 1015 E St. in Hayward.

For more information, you can also visit www.sungallery.org to inquire about exhibits and other programs at the Gallery. The Gallery can be reached at 510-581-4050.

The Sun Gallery is a 50lc3 non-profit organization supported in part by the City of Hayward, ACAC ARTSFUND Grant, Patra Rae Nesseth-Steffes, and Carpenters Union Local 713.