Edmond Fine Arts Institute's director keeps smiling as she prepares to retire

Edmond Fine Arts Institute Executive Director Mitzi Hancuff is retiring after 25 years. She plans to spend time with her husband and four grandchildren.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: February 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm •  Published: February 9, 2013

“I want to be able to pick up my grandson from school and go have an ice cream,” Hancuff said.

Her grandchildren's photos are part of a watercolor painting that hangs on her office wall, along with art she has been given and some she has bought. There are articles about her accomplishments and awards she has won.

Two of her grandchildren, ages 6 and 13, live in Edmond, and two, ages 6 and 11, live in Atlanta.

“I go to Atlanta twice a year,” Handcuff said. “I want to go more.”

Smooth transition expected

Hancuff's last day on the job is May 17.

Shannon Price, the assistant executive director, will take over the executive director job. Price, a former Putnam City art teacher, has been with the institute for 19 years.

“We are so fortunate,” Hancuff said. “We don't have to do a search. She is right here. That is why I am comfortable leaving. This organization is really fortunate.”

Hancuff isn't going away. She will take the summer off, and then she plans to continue working with the Fine Arts Institute teen board consisting of artistic students who help with programming, and the annual juried art show.

“That is very dear to me,” she said. “I will report to Shannon. That will be fun.”

Hancuff's smile and love for the Fine Arts Institute will be missed.

“She is such a kindhearted, caring person,” board member Michelle Trimburger said. “You can see that from what she brings to the board. She is a true pleasure to be around. She will be missed by everyone.”

Hancuff admits the last board meeting and her last day on the job will be sad. But as always, she will have a smile on her face those last days as executive director.

“Everyday I walk in here I have a smile on my face,” she said. “That says it all.”

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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