The Top Left Corner, Episode 17, BBO: WCC’s Emily Watts Upbeat on Region’s Future

August 24, 2015


Emily Watts, new Director at the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce says mission focus should be both inward and outward to promote Town strengths

Emily Watts, new Executive Director at the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce; photo by Jason Velázquez
Emily Watts, new Executive Director at the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce; photo by Jason Velázquez

The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce has named Emily Watts as its new Executive Director, the Chamber’s Board Chair Jason Dohaney announced earlier this month. Watts, who currently curates and produces artistic work throughout North County, succeeds Sandra Thomas beginning August 2015.

“It’s an exciting time in Williamstown right now with record visitors at the Clark, excellent progress at Highland Woods and Cable Mills, and advances by the School Building Committee,” Board chair Jason Dohaney said. “I’m eager to work with Emily and our business community to build on this progress.”

“I moved to Williamstown just a couple of years ago and have fallen in love with this community. The Chamber has an important role in knitting together our values and our commerce, and I’m excited to a part of that,” Watts said.

For the past fifteen years, Emily Watts has brought organizational and operations expertise to a variety of cultural and economic development organizations. As the Program Director for the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, Emily helped design and curate the public programs of the Center, with a particular focus on creating the infrastructure for CounterCurrent, a new, five-day, multi-venue, interdisciplinary performing and visual arts festival. Formerly, as the Program Director for Insurance at Fractured Atlas, Emily educated artists in the intricacies of insurance coverage and worked with insurance companies to develop policies that address the specific needs of the arts community; in that role, she presented workshops regularly across the country for artists and arts organizations on insurance, risk management, and emergency preparedness. Over her time there, she took the program from its modest beginnings and grew it to be one of the most profitable programs at the organization, insuring thousands of artists in all disciplines around the country. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Emily is a founding Board member of Makers’ Mill, the new North Adams Makerspace; FreshArts, a Houston-based arts service organization; and skybetter & associates, a Providence-based dance company dedicated to changing the way we make, disseminate, and discuss performance.

The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce serves Williamstown and our neighboring communities by supporting efforts in communication, education, and coordination of our members, our residents, and our visitors.


Lila Neugebauer directs "An Intervention" at Williamstown Theatre Festival; photo by Paul Fox
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