Lydia Bailey Brown has resigned as executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council.
In a Thursday afternoon email to arts council members, board chairwoman Mary Michael Corbett said Brown submitted her resignation: “She has decided to relocate to Georgia to provide her father necessary TLC during his declining health.”
Everett McCorvey, the arts council board’s vice-chairman, said, “She has been working on how to provide care for her aging father in Georgia, and despite her passion for what she is doing, she felt that she needed to turn her attention to his care.”
Bailey Brown was named director of the arts council in December after the departure of Lori Meadows, who had led the council since 2005. Bailey Brown came to the arts council with an extensive arts administration résumé dating to college.
Meadows, a popular director with artists and arts administrators, left after several kerfuffles. They included a widespread and ultimately false rumor that the council would be defunded in Gov. Matt Bevin’s first budget in January 2016, and the refusal of the 2016 Governor’s Award in the Arts by the Affrilachian Poets, citing disagreements with the governor.
At the time of Meadows’ departure, Bevin reorganized the council’s board, reducing it from 16 members to 15 and returning only four from the previous board.
Chris Cathers, the arts council’s program branch manager, has been named acting director. The council’s next board meeting will be Sept. 29 at the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead.