allan cowen

The Fund for the Arts board of directors announced today their unanimous decision to approve Barbara Sexton Smith as president and CEO of the organization. The decision follows a year-long search to replace former president Allan Cowen.

In a statement, board president David Calzi said the board was committed to finding the best candidate during their year-long search.

“Over the last twelve months it became increasingly clear that the right candidate was already leading the charge,” he said.

Smith has served as interim president since last April, following Cowen’s retirement. Cowen retired shortly after a public outcry over an intimidating voicemail he left for Louisville Visual Art Assocation director Shannon Westerman after Westerman signed a letter that Cowen perceived to be critical of his work.

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U of L Optimistic Former Fund for the Arts CEO Cowen Will Help Build Downtown Presence

by Gabe Bullard January 16, 2012

University of Louisville officials say former Fund for the Arts CEO Allan Cowen is the ideal person to develop the school’s downtown presence. The university announced that it had hired Cowen’s consulting firm last week. The school has the option to buy city land on the former Museum Plaza site, and Cowen is looking into […]

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Philadelphia Orchestra Latest to File for Chapter 11

by Gabe Bullard April 17, 2011

The Philadelphia Orchestra is the latest and largest orchestra to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The legendary ensemble follows those in Louisville, Syracuse and Honolulu, among others, in seeking court assistance and protection to reorganize finances. As in Louisville, the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra opposed the declaration. They’ve suggested ways to preserve musician […]

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State of the News

by Laura Ellis March 25, 2011

STATE OF AFFAIRS 03/25/11: It’s been a busy news week & we’ll talk about it all on State of the News. An explosion in Rubbertown and a hazardous leak in Butchertown have many residents calling for improvements to the emergency response system. The interim director of Louisville Metro Animal Services has stepped down with no replacement yet selected. Also exiting is Allan Cowen, who announced his retirement as CEO of the Fund for the Arts, effective at the end of April. Join us for these metro stories, plus a check-in on the Kentucky & Indiana General Assemblies.  Listen to the Show

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Fund for the Arts Committee Discusses Search for New CEO

by Gabe Bullard March 22, 2011

The executive committee of the Fund for the Arts board of directors met Tuesday to discuss changes in the organization that will follow CEO Allan Cowen’s retirement. The committee debated how best to replace Cowen, and whether the fund needs to consider further changes to how it operates.

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Murphy Says Fund Campaigns Will Not Be Hurt by Cowen’s Retirement

by Gabe Bullard March 22, 2011

In a statement Monday, board chair Ron Murphy praised Cowen’s management of successful fundraising campaigns, and Tuesday, he said interim president Barbara Sexton Smith will be capable of taking over.

“The campaign is institutionalized at this point,” he says. “The running of the campaign over the last number of years, Barbara has really driven it. Allen has been involved in more niche arrangements and thinking and strategy discussions. It’s pretty well been run by the staff.”

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Cowen’s Retirement Won’t Address All Artists’ Complaints

by Gabe Bullard March 21, 2011

Visual Art Association board chair Benton Keith was among the loudest voices calling for Cowen’s dismissal. He says the retirement is welcome, but inequities still exist.

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Cowen Steps Down From Fund for the Arts

by Gabe Bullard March 21, 2011

The embattled President and 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.

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Burnside Says Reaction to Fund for the Arts Letter Has Been Surprising

by Gabe Bullard March 17, 2011

Burnside says her concern is with how the fund distributes money. She says the organization should distribute it evenly among performing, visual and other types of arts and the fact that the fund more heavily supports performing arts should be widely known

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Demonstrators Call for Cowen’s Resignation

by Gabe Bullard March 11, 2011

Cowen’s supporters tout his fundraising skills, but the demonstrators say they won’t give up until the CEO is fired or resigns.

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