BETHEL — Aranka Matolcsy is stepping down as Mahoosuc Arts Council’s executive director after nearly seven years.

Matolcsy said she made the “difficult decision” in August to pursue new life goals.

“I want to convey my sincere thanks to the members of the greater Bethel area and beyond,” Matolcsy said. “It was a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as executive director for nearly seven years, carrying out the mission of supporting the advancement of the arts and humanities in the school systems and adult communities of western Maine.”

She said what the community sees as the face of the council is but the tip of an iceberg.

“It takes thousands of volunteer hours and many tens of thousands in grant, donor, sponsor and advertiser funds that must be raised every year to deliver the programming our community values,” Matolcsy said. “I am extremely proud that our efforts were recognized in 2011 by the state of Maine and Maine Association of Nonprofits with the Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence.”

Matolcsy urged residents to “continue supporting the essential mission of the Mahoosuc Arts Council, or become a first-time donor or volunteer and witness how supporting the arts builds wonderful quality of community, education and life for all.”

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Matolcsy was hired in 2009 after serving as executive director of the Western Maine Art Group from 2006 to 2009.

Tera Ingraham, chairwoman of the Mahoosuc Arts Council board of directors, said the board did not have plans to replace Aranka, and that they would reassess where they are at after the winter.

“The reason we’re not looking for someone to replace her is financial,” Ingraham said. “We have a lack of donations. It has nothing to do with a lack of communication, or with the community not participating enough. It’s just a tough time, economically. We’re continuing to look for different ways of fundraising.”

Ingraham said Mahoosuc Arts Council would try working as a volunteer board and eventually will “put out calls for applicants in the newspaper.”

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