Columbus, Ohio – The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) announced today that board member Milt Baughman will act as Interim President effective September 1, and that Wayne Lawson, Ph.D., director emeritus of the Ohio Arts Council, will advise the organization on strategic initiatives.
“While this is a challenging time for the arts, it is also a time of great opportunity to transform how we serve the arts community and the community at large,” said GCAC Board Chair Mary Jo Green. “Milt and Wayne bring the right mix of experience in both business and arts administration to help guide GCAC through this transition period.”
Baughman was a senior vice president with Huntington National Bank for nearly 20 years and most recently co-lead a business transformation team in the Regional Banking Group. He also has served on the boards of a number of area arts organizations, including ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, where he served as treasurer and chair, and Thurber House, where he also served as treasurer. In addition to GCAC, he is currently on the board of trustees of Columbus School for Girls.
Dr. Lawson led the Ohio Arts Council for more than 20 years prior to retiring in 2006 and is the Barnett Distinguish Professor of Public Policy and Arts Administration in the Department of Art Education at The Ohio State University, where he also advises Ph.D. students. He also chaired the Creative Columbus Policy Steering Committee, which issued The Creative Economy, Leveraging the Arts, Culture and Creative Community for a Stronger Columbus, an extensive report making policy recommendations about the city’s creative economy. Appointed by the City Council, the Committee’s report laid out the steps necessary to effectively sustain and enhance the city’s cultural resources.
Green said the organization’s immediate priorities are to review its grant-making models and to work with the community, particularly the Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium and the Greater Columbus Creative Cultural Commission, in determining additional roles GCAC can play to assure that Columbus has a vibrant arts and culture community that contributes to the economic vitality of the area.
“There is a lot of creative thinking taking place on how we can work together to make sure we have a healthy arts and culture community,” Green said. “Weâ€™re looking forward to continuing those discussions under our new leadership.”
She added that GCAC expects to start a search for a permanent leader early next year.
About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus, Franklin County, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support.