Long-time South Carolina Arts Alliance Executive Director Betty Plumb has announced her retirement effective Sept. 1, 2016. Plumb’s career in arts administration and advocacy spans more than 30 years, with 27 of those years spent with the Arts Alliance.
(Related: S.C. Arts Alliance seeking new executive director)
Here’s an excerpt of Plumb’s announcement:
After more than 30 years in the arts administration and advocacy field, 27 of those years with the South Carolina Arts Alliance, I recently notified my board that I would be stepping down as executive director effective Sept. 1, 2016, the month that I will observe my 70th birthday.
In advocacy and in life, timing is everything, and this is the right time for me to step away from the professional world. Seventy may be the new 50, but it’s time for a new phase in life.
Over the years, the Arts Alliance has been state’s primary private sector coalition for developing leaders to advance the arts, inform public policy development and advocate effectively for public sector support of the arts and arts education. I hope you agree that we have lived up to that vision.
With your help, we have advocated successfully for increased funding for the South Carolina Arts Commission and for arts education initiatives within the South Carolina Department of Education. We have also advocated in support of federal cultural agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, arts education programs within the U.S. Department of Education, and for other policy issues that have impacted the arts at the national level.
The Arts Alliance has been recognized nationally for our advocacy efforts. We have developed an informed and civically engaged constituency and built bipartisan support among legislators who value the contributions of artists and arts educators to South Carolina’s economy and quality of life. And what’s more important, we will continue to strengthen our efforts to ensure that students have the opportunity to experience quality arts education regardless of where their school is located or their financial circumstances.
During the coming months, there will be plenty of time to say farewell to my many friends in the arts community, both in South Carolina and across the country. Under the leadership of our Board President Rose Sheheen and the search committee, our priority at this time is a nationwide search to select a dynamic, visionary leader to take the Arts Alliance forward.
Even as retirement nears, be assured that we will continue to pursue an aggressive advocacy agenda for 2016, knowing that we can count on your continued support.
Thank you for your support and the support of the Arts Alliance!
South Carolina Arts Alliance
Image, left to right: Kathleen Bateson, S.C. Arts Alliance Immediate Past President; Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director; and Betty Plumb, S.C. Arts Alliance Executive Director