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Arts group names president

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The Arts Council of Indianapolis today named longtime staff member David Lawrence as its president.

Lawrence, who has been acting president since Greg Charleston stepped down in July, continues the task of leading an organization that’s seen its funding fall dramatically in the past year.

“It’s requiring us to move in a new direction,” Lawrence said. “We are poised and ready to do that.”

The council is the city's main arts grant-making and advocacy organization. In 2008, it received $5.75 million from public and private sources, and passed $2.68 million of that to local groups and individual artists through various grant programs.

Because of cuts in state and local funding, the council’s budget this year is $3.9 million and will drop to $3 million in 2010.

Lawrence said the council is awaiting word on a new source of private funding, and he predicted some “bold moves” in 2010.

“We’re going to work to hone our programs and services, and make sure we meet the needs of the arts community. We recognize that the times have changed.”

The council’s board of directors conducted a national search for Charleston’s replacement. Board member Dan Appel said Lawrence was chosen “because he presented some incredibly insightful, imaginative and compelling ideas to further the mission of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.”

Lawrence joined the Arts Council in 1999 and became vice president in 2005. His main role has been overseeing grant programs.

Lawrence said his salary is being negotiated. His predecessor earned $160,119 in 2008, and Lawrence was paid $109,769.

 

 

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