“fund for the arts”

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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Union Leaders Rally For Orchestra Musicians

by Rick Howlett February 13, 2012

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, […]

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After Tumultuous Year, Fund for the Arts Prepares for Next Campaign

by Gabe Bullard January 30, 2012

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 […]

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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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Fund for the Arts Turns to Crowdsourcing for Certain Projects

by Gabe Bullard December 4, 2011

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 […]

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Fund for the Arts Considers Changes

by Gabe Bullard July 3, 2011

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 […]

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Fund for the Arts CEO Says Support Remains Strong After Cowen’s Departure

by Gabe Bullard June 8, 2011

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 […]

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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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