AthFest Educates Announces Mary-Eleanor Joyce as New Executive Director

AthFest Educates announced on Oct. 11 that Mary-Eleanor Joyce has been hired as its new executive director. See the press release below.

AthFest Educates Hires New Executive Director 

Athens, GA —- Athens nonprofit AthFest Educates announced today the hiring of their new executive director, Mary-Eleanor Joyce.  Joyce has worked at nonprofit Children First Inc, serving as Associate Director and SafeCare Home Visiting Program Coordinator for 15 years. She has lived in Athens since moving here for graduate school in the mid-2000’s.  She holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Organizations (currently called Nonprofit Management and Leadership) from the University of Georgia, served Girls Rock Athens as both a grants committee member and volunteer, and is a graduate of the 2022 LEAD Athens program through the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. Joyce will begin her new position in November.  AthFest Educates awards grants to Athens educators for music and arts education for local K-12 youth.  Grants are funded in part by proceeds from the AthFest Music & Arts Festival and the AthHalf Half Marathon & 5K, which takes place October 22nd and 23rd.  

Michelle Davis, Board Chair of AthFest Educates and part of the organization’s Hiring Committee, said they are thrilled to have Joyce on the AthFest team after longtime executive director Jill Helme moved out of state.  She said of Joyce: “What set Mary apart from the other candidates is her track record of community service, her commendable work ethic and her inspired vision for AthFest Educates’ future growth. Mary has spent her career serving as an advocate for underprivileged youth, and she is a lifelong musician. She connects with our mission on a personal level.  I’ve seen her rock Athens stages behind the drums, and I’ve seen her pull drywall to refurbish the home of a family in need. As a CCSD parent, artist, and an education advocate, she will be able to effectively put a spotlight on our grant efforts. She is the perfect fit and we know she is going to do a great job and help the organization grow in ways we hadn’t even imagined.”