(Hoppe on the Arts) Greg Charleston steps down 

I have just received the following press release from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The IAC's president, Greg Charleston, has announced that he is leaving for Florida. I will be blogging about this development tomorrow.

INDIANAPOLIS — After 15 years of leadership of one of the most successful arts councils in the nation, Gregory Charleston has decided to step down as president and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis to begin a new career as a writer and playwright, and adjunct professor at Florida Keys College. Charleston will leave the Arts Council effective July 1, 2009.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis board of directors has begun the process of appointing a transition task force to find a successor.

Charleston said, "It's been very rewarding to help grow the Arts Council into such a tremendous success. We've been able to substantially increase visibility for the arts with a number of nationally acclaimed public art exhibits; expand arts partnerships and collaborations with organizations throughout central Indiana, including our work with the Cultural Development Commission; annually adjudicate and award more than $3 million in city and state grants to nearly 75 arts organizations; and significantly expand services to individual artists, including the creation of an artist database with over 600 local artists, series of workshops, guides, and artist promotions. And we've done all that while reducing our operating budget by 25 percent over the past five years."

"While it is difficult to leave such a great organization and wonderful city," Charleston said, "this is a personal decision. There's never a perfect time to make this transition, but I'm at a point in my life where I need a new challenge, and I can't think of anything more rewarding than teaching college students and beginning the process of writing seriously."

Shawn Mulholland, chairman of the board, said, "Greg's departure from the Arts Council and the City of Indianapolis is a huge loss. His leadership has been instrumental in the expansion of arts and culture in central Indiana. Indeed, Greg is Indianapolis' chief arts advocate for public funding and created the Arts Council's role as the Indiana Arts Commission's regional arts partner for central Indiana. We appreciate Greg's leadership and the very talented Arts Council staff he will leave behind. The board will work quickly to begin the transition process."

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