Long time arts administrator and non-profit manager Lydia Bailey Brown has been named the new executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council.
Bailey Brown succeeds Lori Meadows, who held the post from 2005 until her resignation Nov. 18, in the midst of a reorganization of the council board by Gov. Matt Bevin.
“I am honored to serve the citizens of Kentucky in such a key arts leadership role,” Bailey Brown said in a statement from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. “It’s important that the Kentucky Arts Council, an agency firmly rooted in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, works collaboratively throughout the state to strengthen arts education which builds better problem solvers in all walks of life.”
“The arts invigorate large communities and sustain rural towns, and I am excited to explore how the council can work with community leaders throughout Kentucky to increase cultural tourism. We are well positioned to widely share the artists and cultural jewels of this beautiful state.”
Bailey Brown joined the state government in September as an adviser for the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, where the Arts Council is housed. She came there from the Presbyterian Church (USA), based in Louisville, where she worked with the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries area in training and fundraising, according to her Linked-In page.
But she has an extensive arts background according to that résumé, with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a master’s degree in business administration from Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y., with concentrations in arts administration and marketing.
Her Linked-In résumé includes posts as executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Va.; director of sales and marketing for Chicago Scenic Studios; and director of business membership for The Conference Board.
“We believe that Lydia Bailey Brown’s unique background in business development, arts education and cultural destination consulting will be an asset to this important state agency as it continues to promote the arts and Kentucky artisans,” Don Parkinson, Secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage, said in the statement. “We are optimistic about the arts council’s future.”
Bailey Brown was named interim director of the Arts Council after Meadows’ departure. She was nominated for the permanent post by Parkinson and was approved by the Arts Council’s board Monday afternoon at its December meeting in Berea.