The Columbia Arts Council is in somewhat of an impasse as it transitions into 2020 by electing its officers, as well as a change in leadership and bringing on new members.
Arts council chair Ross Jaynes, who has served on the board since 2015, announced last week that he would be stepping down from his position. Beverly Mitchell, the council’s vice chair, was unanimously voted by members to serve as the new chair. Jaynes said he will remain serving in part on the council’s subcommittees, overseeing things like public art projects and development of the Columbia Arts District.
“Thank you all for letting me serve on the Columbia Arts Council,” Jaynes said. “I wish this wasn’t the case, but it is what it is. I will still be around to help with the subcommittees, and to assist in multiple forms. It just won’t be this particular one.”
Though the arts council has many projects in the works, with a large focus on the Columbia Arts District, grant funding and other area’s of city growth, January is the time when members appoint new officers. It is also when some of its board members’ terms are due to expire, leaving them with the decision to either seek reappointment, or vacate their position to allow another arts-based individual to serve on the council.
Along with Jaynes, arts council Meredith Joi-Oswald and Rupa DeLoach also announced they would not be seeking a new term, leaving a total of three vacant seats for new members.
Over the past few months, the arts council has discussed what types of new members it should consider bringing on. According to the city’s bylaws, half of the board’s members should be professional artists, or those with an artistic background, while the other half should be more “business minded,” but in a way that can help with things like promoting art events, grant writing and other resources to help accomplish the council’s goals.
For new members, the arts council hopes to appoint individuals who are in…
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