Longtime director leaves Uptown Association

Jill Osiecki
Jill Osiecki is the interim director of the Uptown Association taking over from longtime director Maude Lovelle. Submitted photo

The longtime executive director of the Uptown Association has left the community nonprofit.

Maude Lovelle, who was the leader of the Uptown Association for 13 years, had her last day on May 13, according to interim director Jill Osiecki.

Osiecki, who has worked for the Uptown Association since 2014, said the board of directors will likely wait until the Uptown Art Fair ends in August to conduct a search for a replacement.

“We have a lot of work to do right now with the art fair,” she said.

The Uptown Art Fair, now in its 56th year, is the main event put on by the Uptown Association, which also functions as a Chamber of Commerce-style organization for local businesses.

Osiecki has been doing a lot of the permitting and vendor booking for recent art fairs.

“It’s natural for me because I’ve been heavily involved the last few years,” Osiecki said.

She said Lovelle gave the group about a month’s notice and the transition has been smooth.

Lovelle did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Lovelle’s institutional knowledge will be missed, Osiecki said, but she’s excited for the organization moving forward.

“I look forward to the opportunity of change,” she said.

The Uptown Art Fair will have a slightly different footprint this year, with plans to only have vendors on one side of Hennepin Avenue between Lake Street and 31st Street in the wake of reconstruction, which Osiecki is hoping will make Hennepin feel more breathable. She said the association is getting creative in finding spaces for vendors this season, such as putting more artists on The Mall. The goal is to make the layout as seamless as possible for guests.

“We’re hoping that nobody notices,” she said.

Uptown Association
2815 Hennepin Ave.