Ben Hartley, incoming executive director of Silkroad. Photo by Shannon Nallan.

“When Ben Hartley first attended a Silkroad performance, he was blown away,” writes Arielle Gray in Tuesday’s (5/9) WBUR (Boston). “Now, 14 years later, Hartley will join the organization as its new executive director on May 15…. ‘Being able to work with Silkroad musicians, artistic director Rhiannon Giddens … it’s incredible,’ he said. Prior to joining Silkroad, Hartley spent decades building and leading cultural organizations, most recently serving as the executive director of the National Arts Club in New York City where he helmed initiatives to encourage public interest in fine art…. Silkroad was founded in 1998 by … Yo-Yo Ma. The organization employs music and art as modes of cultural collaboration and exchange, exploring the nuanced experiences and stories of populations whose voices are often overlooked or underrepresented…. Hartley hopes to emphasize, to both current and new audiences, that what Silkroad does is more than produce and perform music. ‘It also does incredible work with education programs and social justice programs,’ he noted. ‘And so my job as executive director is really to try and coordinate all of those, to find support for those and to help those ideas come out to audiences around the world.’ ”