SCCA welcomes new executive director

Published 7:53 pm Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts welcomed its new executive director and CEO, Lorelei Costa, at the beginning of April.

Costa oversees everything at the center, including programs, performances, exhibits and the building itself.

“I have an amazing staff, and I could not do it by myself to deliver the arts to Suffolk and beyond,” said Costa.

Before taking over at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, Costa worked as the executive director at the Outer Banks Community Foundation in Kitty Hawk, N.C. She worked there for more than seven years and has worked in nonprofits her whole career. The foundation made grants for nonprofits and art programs and did what she called “fantastic work.”

After her son graduated in 2020, Costa realized she had more opportunities to explore and move somewhere else. When Costa heard about the opening at the Suffolk Center, she knew this was something she was supposed to do, as she has been a piano player and choral singer for most of her life.

“It was the dream job I didn’t know I had,” said Costa. “I’ve been a musician my whole life, coming from a hyper-musical family. This job was the perfect marriage between my personal interests and my career.”

Starting in the midst of a pandemic has brought many challenges to this new position. Many arts organizations and individuals have experienced significant economic hardships. Many have lost jobs or had to close their doors.

According to Costa, the Suffolk Center is ready and “spring-loaded” to swing its doors wide open again whenever the time comes. Until then, it is the center’s priority to keep everyone safe by continuing to do smaller and virtual programs that still keep the community and the artists involved.

Looking towards the future, Costa wants the center to help the community explore art therapy and healing through the arts. With the pandemic spanning for over a year now, people have lost jobs and loved ones, kids have been virtual learning at home and an overwhelming sense of loneliness has impacted many as they stay home.

“We have a lot to heal from,” said Costa. “We believe art can bring people together and be a medium to listen and understand each other. We want to build empathy and healing in ourselves and the community.”

To stay up to date on the latest happenings at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, visit suffolkcenter.org.