New Staten Island Arts executive director Elizabeth Bennett is already hard at work.

This is her first week on the job.

Bennett replaces Chris Hellstrom, who spent just under a year in the position. 

While she’s not a Staten Island native, Bennett knows the borough's art scene well. Before coming to Staten Island Arts, she spent six years at the Department of Cultural Affairs. 

"The kind of artwork that is happening on Staten Island is not flashy. It doesn't get a lot of media exposure. But these are artists who are really making art that is making a difference in their communities," said Bennett.

Bennett also worked for many years in musical theatre, as a journalist and as a grant writer. She says that experience will aid Staten Island Arts, a nonprofit, in helping more local artists gain exposure.

"There's really great work that's being done here on the island that we want people from other places to come and be drawn to," said Bennett.

Bennett says a big focus of hers as executive director will be to make sure the local arts community can play a role in the development along the north shore.

"What we need to do as an arts council is make sure the arts are part of that development, to make sure our artists are included both in the planning as well as the presentation of the sites once they're completed." Bennett said.

Bennett says she also hopes to continue unifying the arts community.

"There are amazing artists on this island and their work deserves to be seen," she added.

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