Michael Weidrich, Executive Director

Michael Weidrich, MBA BFA, as Executive Director of Young Audiences of Western New York, is the chief executive officer of the organization and works in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff to provide leadership and management of the organization.  The Executive Director ensures that YA-WNY and Arts Partners for Learning (APL) is on the leading edge of arts learning and that the WNY community understands the importance of arts learning.  As the face and voice of YA-WNY and APL, the Executive Director builds relationships with and motivates a range of people:  from staff to board members to volunteers to donors to educators to artists to collaborating partners and other community stakeholders

Michael comes to Young Audiences with over 20 years of professional experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, having served as the Executive Director of the Lark Street Business Improvement District “Albany’s Arts District” and the Pride Center of the Capital Region and held senior level positions at the Albany Institute of History & Art and In Our Own Voices Inc. Michael is a life-long artist, having exhibited his digital artworks internationally. Michael founded Albany’s 1st Friday in 2006 and coordinated the monthly arts walk for nearly 8 years, growing the event from 3 small galleries to over 50 venues city-wide. Michael has produced  numerous concerts and festivals with headlining musical talent like Moby, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Aimee Mann of ‘Til Tuesday, Buffalo Tom, Matt & Kim, Andy Bell of Erasure, and Melissa Etheridge.

Michael is a graduate of the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, and from the College of Saint Rose earned a Master of Business Administration, Advanced Graduate Certificates in Not for Profit Management and Educational Technology, and completed extensive masters level coursework in Art Education.

Michael has been a board member of numerous community organizations such as CARES Inc, The Stakeholders Inc, the Upstate Artists Guild, the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Albany Charity for Arts in Education. He has been a steering committee member of the Capital Region Chamber’s Leadership Tech Valley program and the Tech Valley Nonprofit Business Council. Michael is a graduate of the Capital Region Chamber’s Leadership Tech Valley program, the Capital Region Chamber’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp, CenterLink’s Executive Director’s Bootcamp and the FBI Citizens Academy.

Recognitions, Deep Commitments & Service to Community Awards:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigations Director’s Community Leadership Award
  • Stakeholders Inc Founders Award
  • Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40
  • Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau Hospitality Excellence Award
  • Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Lark Street Business Improvement District.