KING CITY — Jeff Hinderscheid has become the new permanent executive director at Sol Treasures effective March 1, after a decision by the art center’s board.
Hinderscheid had been a board member prior to leaving to accept the position. He also had worked as a co-operations manager to support the past executive director, who had worked off site and part-time during the coronavirus pandemic.
While Hinderscheid noted Sol Treasures was fortunate to have its gift shop component, which allowed it to continue operation as a retail space rather than shut down as an art gallery, leadership noticed the complications of not having someone on site to direct staff. Complications arose with pandemic shutdowns of events and facilities, which needed quick responses.
“There was a serious need to have someone here every day with the staff,” Hinderscheid said.
As the leadership situation was worked out, the board decided Hinderscheid should go from co-operations manager to co-executive director, then to full executive director. The position had been part-time even before the pandemic, but with the new structure came a decision to make it full-time, as well.
“It’s pretty intense, but I couldn’t be happier,” Hinderscheid said. “It’s a great organization and we have a lot of good things coming up.”
With more hours available to coordinate, Hinderscheid said he is working to form partnerships with other organizations and community leaders. Such developments include partnerships with Sun Street Centers, King City in Bloom to highlight young artists, the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds for programs similar to the Valentine’s Day concert and the City of King to schedule entertainment at the upcoming park plaza planned for Broadway Street.
The current grants in place for Sol Treasures to purchase cameras, microphones, speakers and computers for its studio are being harnessed to form some of these partnerships.
“We’re working on developing a program that is virtual, where kids can get a laptop, get a sound recording of something and learn how to balance it and manipulate it,” Hinderscheid said as an example.
The new acquisition of property also allows Sol Treasures to run small events in the backyard area and host larger events in the Robert Stanton Theater, all pending health restrictions easing.
“Eventually what we’d like to do is offer our production team services to other organizations in town,” Hinderscheid said. “We’re going to try to be actively involved with other groups as much as possible.”
Hinderscheid noted the wait falls on health guidelines in response to the pandemic.
“In a perfect world, we want to get kids back into programming and have a fall musical in the Robert Stanton Theater again,” Hinderscheid said. “If we can find a safe way to do that.”
Sol Treasures currently has virtual programs, such as creative writing, art and music.
“A lot of that is looking at a screen, and we want to get away from that as soon as we can,” Hinderscheid said.
A year of virtual learning, however, will not be scrapped when it becomes possible to reopen.
“The idea is to expand, not replace, so when things come back, we’re going to continue to use the knowledge we created while getting back to the in-person stuff,” Hinderscheid said.