S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May elected to national board

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has announced that Ken May, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, has been elected to its board of directors. May is one of five new members; each will serve a three-year term. The election took place Nov. 15 at the NASAA Assembly 2014 conference in New Orleans after a rigorous national nomination process.

Ken MayMay joined the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1985 as a regional arts coordinator and served as director of planning, research and grants and assistant deputy director before being named deputy director in 1995. During his tenure at the Commission, May has played a key role in the creation of many of the agency’s nationally recognized programs and partnerships in arts education, community design, public participation in the arts, rural arts development, and career development for artists. Since becoming executive director in 2010, he has gained a national reputation as a leader in the use of social media for arts advocacy, decisively overcoming serious threats to his agency during the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 legislative sessions and securing $1 million in new recurring state appropriation for arts grants in 2013.

May has served as a panelist and site visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts; a panelist, presenter, consultant and facilitator for national, state and local arts organizations; and a guest lecturer in arts administration programs at the College of Charleston and Winthrop University. He is a member of the board and current treasurer of South Arts. Before beginning his career in arts administration, May held positions with ARA Services Magazine and Book Division and McGraw-Hill. Prior to his long sojourn in the realm of day jobs, he worked as a professional musician. He received undergraduate and master’s degrees in music history and musicology from Florida State University.

Other new board members are Cyndy Andrus, chair, Montana Arts Council; Stephanie Barger Conner, board member, Tennesseans for the Arts; Nola Ruth, chair, Missouri Arts Council; and Suzanne Wise, executive director, Nebraska Arts Council.

Three board members were elected to second terms: Benjamin Brown, chair, Alaska State Council on the Arts; Lewis Ricci, executive director, Indiana Arts Commission; and Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

“We are pleased to welcome Cyndy, Stephanie, Ken, Nola and Suzanne to the NASAA board, and are delighted that Ben, Lewis and Randy will continue their service,” said NASAA Interim Chief Executive Officer Kelly Barsdate. “They all are skilled leaders with keen policy acumen and a genuine passion for the arts. We are excited to work with this new team and we welcome their expertise and guidance.”

For more information on NASAA’s board members, visit NASAA 2015 Board of Directors.

About the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Founded in 1968, NASAA represents their individual and collective interests, empowers their work through knowledge, and advances the arts as an essential public benefit. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit www.nasaa-arts.org.


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