Cowen Steps Down From Fund for the Arts

by Gabe Bullard on March 21, 2011

Fund for the Arts President and CEO Allan Cowen will retire effective April 30.

The embattled CEO became the center of protests several weeks ago, when an angry voicemail he left Louisville Visual Art Association director Shannon Westerman was made public.

The fund board reprimanded Cowen for his actions, but kept him in his position. That sparked calls for his dismissal from various members of the arts community, culminating in a protest outside of the Fund for the Arts headquarters last week.

Executive Vice President Barbara Sexton Smith will serve as interim president after Cowen steps down. The search for a new president will begin this week.

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