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