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Arts Council of Indianapolis Board appoints David B. Lawrence as president

Nearly 20-year arts management veteran presents strong vision

to take the Arts Council to the next level

INDIANAPOLIS — After a lengthy and thorough national search for a new president, longtime arts advocate and arts management executive David B. Lawrence (Dave) has been named president of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The announcement was made today by the Arts Council of Indianapolis' board of directors.

Shawn Mulholland, chair of the Arts Council board, said, "Dave's nearly 20 years of relevant experience and career advancement in arts management, coupled with his creative, well-reasoned vision to take the Arts Council of Indianapolis to the next level, secured the decision in his favor. Dave is clearly the best candidate for the job."

The board search committee, lead by longtime civic and business leader Dan Appel, reviewed more than 200 applicants from all over the country, most with exemplary credentials and qualifications. Dan said, "The search committee unanimously recommended the appointment of Dave Lawrence for a number of reasons, but primarily because he presented some incredibly insightful, imaginative and compelling ideas to further the mission of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Dave has the confidence and a positive vision for what the Arts Council must do in the short-term and in the future to further enhance appreciation for and support of central Indiana's arts and cultural institutions, and individual artists."

Dave is replacing Greg Charleston, who served as president from 2004 until July 1, 2009.

Mulholland said, "Dave has shown exceptional leadership skills as vice president of the Arts Council since 2005 and as acting president. Since being named as acting president, Dave has continued fulfilling the Arts Council's critical role as the chief advocate for the arts in central Indiana, while developing and implementing viable solutions to some of the Council's most pressing budget issues.

"Dave has the state, regional and national perspective of the arts required for this critical leadership position in Indianapolis. He fully understands what's working and what's not in the arts industry, and has the drive to innovate ways that the Arts Council of Indianapolis, in partnership with the city's arts and cultural institutions and individual artists, can deliver even more results, even in this time of challenging budgets."

Prior to becoming acting president of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Dave was the vice president for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and responsible for the creation, development and implementation of grant programs of the agency. This included grants for arts and cultural organizations, as well as fellowship programs for professional artists including the nationally recognized Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program. He also was is responsible for the development of new programs and services for the benefit of the entire arts community, including technical assistance programs, workshops and presentations, cultural tourism initiatives and special events.

Dave joined the Arts Council in 1999 as a special projects director and quickly advanced in responsibility to oversee grants and program development in 2001. He was named vice president in 2005.

Prior to joining the Arts Council, Dave was director of marketing for the Indianapolis Opera (1997-1999), and executive director for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir (1993-1997). His arts management experience includes audience development, cultural tourism, fundraising and corporate relations. He also has worked for the Indiana Repertory Theatre (1992) and Indiana University Auditorium (1990-1992).

A graduate of DePauw University, Dave was involved with the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission, served as Programming Infusion Co-Chair of the citywide Indianapolis 2005 Cultural Convergence initiative (which included the design, planning, and implementation of the opening ceremonies of the 2004 FINA World Swimming Championships), and served on the Spotlight Steering Committee (annual citywide arts AIDS benefit performance), the City of Indianapolis' Urban Design Oversight Committee, the Public Art Indianapolis Advisory Committee, and is a frequent regional and national grants panelist and speaker.

He was an Arts Management Fellow of Chorus America and a founding member of Americans for the Arts' Emerging Leaders Council. In 2004, Dave was selected for the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (Class XXIX). A cellist, singer, and actor, he is active in Indianapolis community theatre.