Columbus, Ohio USA
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Betsy Pandora Takes Charge
New Short North Alliance Executive Director
By Allex Spires
September/October 2013 Issue

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Betsy Pandora, new Executive Director of the Short North Alliance. Photo © Gus Brunsman III

On the morning of August 20, I was outside having a cigarette and drinking coffee, looking at Columbus. When I stepped back inside, I found my phone flashing. A missed call. Betsy Pandora had just returned my call from the previous day. She was busy at work before 9 a.m. returning calls. Shortly afterwards, I rang through to her voicemail. I tried again at 9:20. She answered.

Of course, you’re wondering: Who is Betsy Pandora?

Ms. Pandora may be familiar to those associated with the Wexner Center for the Arts where she worked for four years in the Education Department and the Director’s Office. Pandora later served as coordinator for the Columbus Healthy Places program at Columbus Public Health and was the leading force behind Columbus Art Walks. And more recently, on August 12, she officially became the new executive director of the Short North Alliance following John Angelo’s resignation.

Pandora plans to continue the SNA tradition, ensuring visitors and residents alike have the best possible experience with dining, shopping, entertainment, and art. She’s looking forward to working with businesses and property owners in the district and is hopeful about the Short North’s future.

Despite a continuing turn toward more bars, restaurants and retail establishments in the area, Pandora sees opportunities to bring the district’s focus back to art. She recognizes creative retailers, fashion designers and chefs as artists as much as sculptors, painters, and photographers. She is interested in helping small businesses thrive and in showcasing the work of local artists.

Much of what Pandora wants to do for the district will depend on whether visitors to the Short North can access convenient places to park. In her first week on the job, the SNA convinced Columbus to change rush hour parking restrictions on N. Fourth and Summit streets.

Pandora’s enthusiasm for the Short North just might lead to real progress in making the place more easily accessible and in keeping it as actively artistic as possible.



© 2013 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.

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