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Arts Consulting Group to Lead Executive Director Search

Bethann Steiner, Communications Director

Deputy Director David Slatery Appointed to Serve as Acting Executive Director

The governing Council of the Mass Cultural Council voted to engage the services of Arts Consulting Group (ACG) to lead a nationwide search for the Agency’s next executive director. The Council made this decision during its June 18 business meeting.  ACG is a Massachusetts-based firm located in Boston.

“ACG is universally recognized for its expertise in arts and culture management, as well as for their personalized approach and extraordinary results,” said Nina Fialkow, Council Chair. “The Council is delighted to collaborate with ACG during this most important exercise: a nationwide search for our next executive director.”

Mass Cultural Council is governed by a gubernatorially-appointed board of private citizens, who serve for staggered three-year terms. Council members represent various regions of the state and have demonstrated distinguished service, creativity and/or scholarship in the arts, humanities, or sciences.

ACG is known as a leading provider of hands-on interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement, strategic planning, community engagement, and facilities and program planning services for the arts and culture industry. Team members have decades of combined senior leadership experience in every artistic and cultural discipline and area of functional management expertise. ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite will lead this effort on behalf of Mass Cultural Council, with assistance provided by ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau and ACG Vice President María Muñoz-Blanco.

In March, Mass Cultural Council’s current executive director, Anita Walker, announced her intention to retire on June 30. As the Commonwealth’s most senior arts official, Walker has visibly led the Commonwealth’s creative economy and nonprofit cultural sector for 13 years.

In response to Walker’s announcement, Chair Fialkow appointed the Council’s Executive Committee to serve as a Search Task Force to retain an executive search firm. The Task Force executed a Request for Proposals (RFP), which resulted in 33 responses from firms located throughout the country.

The Search Task Force reviewed and scored 23 submissions that met the RFP’s eligibility criteria. Scoring was based on the criteria for review of submissions outlined in the RFP:

  • Qualifications and Experience
  • Quality and Thoroughness of Response, including a detailed, clear plan to achieve the goals
  • Diversity
  • Cost

ACG was ultimately selected and retained by the Council to conduct the Agency’s executive director search due to its impeccable references, reasonable cost, and high score.

Interim Leadership Plan

On June 18, the Council also approved an interim leadership plan for the Agency. Deputy Director David Slatery was appointed to serve as Acting Executive Director until the search is completed and a new executive director is approved by the Council. Slatery will be assisted by the Agency’s existing senior leadership team: Jen Lawless, Operations Director and Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director, and will fulfill his additional duties without additional compensation.

“The Council has strong and unwavering faith in the professionalism, expertise, and ability of the Agency’s existing leadership team, said Marc Carroll, Vice Chair of the Council, “Moreover, the entire Agency staff enjoys the full confidence of the Council.  We know the creative individuals and cultural nonprofits who depend upon the programs and services administered by our talented Mass Cultural Council team will be well served during this period of interim leadership.”

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