creative:impact - Guyton Takes Flight At Riverside Arts Center

Jan 14, 2020

Elisa Guyton, executive director of the Riverside Arts Center
Credit Riverside Arts Center /

After years as development director at the Yankee Air Museum, Elisa Guyton is charged with taking the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti to new heights.  Guyton began work as the center's executive director on December 2nd of last year and is becoming fully ingrained in the center’s offerings and its potential for the future.  She talks community, engagement, art, and passion in this "creative:impact" conversation with WEMU’s David Fair and Deb Polich of The Arts Alliance.

Deb Polich, President and CEO of the Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

About Elisa Guyton

As an active member of the Ypsilanti community, Elisa passionately endeavors to increase the viability and accessibility of the arts.  She has a dedicated background in supporting local nonprofits including successfully guiding Yankee Air Museum’s Development Department.  Elisa is the current advisor to EMU’s Circle K International club, a member of both the Ypsilanti Kiwanis Club and Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation, a past board member of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, and champion of the Community Wing Project.  Elisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Management from Wright State University.

Riverside Arts Center Announcement of Elisa Guyton’s Appointment as Executive Director

Dear Friend of Riverside Arts Center,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am very pleased to announce that Riverside Arts Center (RAC) has a new Executive Director.  Starting Monday, December 2, Elisa Guyton will step into that role.  Elisa comes to us from her position as Associate Development Director at the Yankee Air Museum.  She also worked with Ypsilanti Community Schools and brings to RAC a variety of experiences with community and nonprofit organizations, including service with the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation, Ypsilanti Kiwanis Club, and Circle K International.  A more detailed biography can be found on the RAC web site. Elisa's management and development skills and passion for community service and advocacy put her in an excellent position to support and broaden RAC's mission of serving the community as a center for the arts, education, and inspiration. 

My thanks to all who participated in the search process, including members of the Board of Trustees, RAC staff, and all the applicants. 

RAC continues to build on the programming foundations adopted over the past few years.  At just about any time of day on a visit to RAC you will see all of RAC's community spaces being used for a wide range of aesthetics and creative experiences by and for all ages, with diverse themes and viewpoints.  This December Riverside Arts Center will be hosting a First Fridays Ypsilanti pop up,“Do You Like Pink Yet?” with RAC teaching artist Jason S. Johnson; Ypsilanti Youth Theatres production of“Shrek!”, DIYpsi Holiday Market, Horizon Players“A Charlie Brown Christmas Play” and the 14th annual Mittenfest to support 826 Michigan.  Stop by to check out some of our activities and to welcome Elisa to her new role!

Yours in creative partnership,

Akosua Dow

Chair, Riverside Arts Center


Riverside Arts Center

Elisa Guyton

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at