Verner Award recipient Kathleen Bateson to retire

Lowcountry arts to lose decorated leader in 2020

After leading the organization since 1998, CEO/President Kathleen Bateson has announced her retirement from the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina effective June 30, 2020. 

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Reeves, who has worked with Bateson since 2001, will succeed as president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2020. Bateson will remain with Arts Center as executive artistic producer until June 30, 2020.

Bateson’s executive arts consulting history and corporate management experience, particularly in financial and long-range planning strategies, corporate investor relations and international marketing/PR, preceded her current CEO leadership role. During her tenure, the Arts Center has become the state’s third largest arts organization as well as its largest professional producing theatre (110+ plays). Bateson also diversified the Presenting Artists series (270+performers) and expanded the education efforts into the four-county region (265,000+ services).  In 2019 Bateson received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts (seen above), the highest arts honor in the state, which was also awarded to the Arts Center in 2006. Bateson was also recently named to the S.C. Arts Foundation board of directors.

Bob Lee, two-time Chairman of the Arts Center Board of Trustees stated, “I cannot express enough the privilege I have had working with Kathi on the Board of Trustees over the last 16 years. While her departure will certainly leave a hole in the hearts of those of us who recognize the many successes and accolades her leadership has brought to the Arts Center, we also recognize that she has assembled a skillful, capable team who will sustain the level of excellence she has created at this community jewel.”