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 […]
Dozens of union members rallied this morning in front of the Fund for the Arts offices in support of the Louisville Orchestra musicians. Orchestra players and management have been embroiled in a contract dispute for more than a year, and musicians have been idle since their last contract expired in May. Leaders of the AFL-CIO, […]
This week, the Fund for the Arts will launch its first fundraising campaign under new leadership. Fund CEO Allan Cowen retired during last year’s campaign. He was accused of bullying certain artists and the fund was criticized for favoring performing arts over visual arts. Interim CEO Barbara Sexton Smith took over after Cowen left and is […]
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 […]
As part of its new strategy to update the allocation process, the Fund for the Arts has launched a new website. Power2Give was developed in North Carolina. It’s modeled after sites like Kickstarter, but with a narrower focus. It lets nonprofits post proposals for arts and culture-related projects. Visitors to the site can then donate toward […]
The Fund for the Arts’ annual campaign has ended and the organization’s energy will now turn inward, toward revising its mission and policies. The shakeup at the fund started earlier this year, when CEO Allan Cowen retired amid a flurry of criticism over his brusque interactions with artists and arts groups. Much of the dissent […]
After a tumultuous start to the year and with its city grant in danger, the Fund for the Arts will wrap up its annual fundraising campaign this month. The year started with complaints about long-time CEO Allan Cowen’s interactions with arts groups. Cowen was a skilled fundraiser, but his successor Barbara Sexton Smith says his […]
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.