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SC Arts Commission Press Releases

Kenneth May Named Executive Director of South Carolina Arts Commission


May 24, 2010

Media Contacts:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698


Misty Moore

(803) 734-8620


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission Board of Commissioners today announced that Ken May has been named executive director effective immediately.


May joined the Arts Commission in 1985 as a regional arts coordinator and served as director of planning, research and grants and assistant deputy director before being named deputy director in 1995. May has served as acting director of the agency since former Executive Director Susie Surkamer retired in May 2009.


“We look forward to working with Ken in his new role as executive director,” said Board Chairman Bud Ferillo. “Ken has proven his ability to lead the Arts Commission through the difficulties of the current budget cutbacks while positioning the agency for the future. His leadership in the agency’s core work -- arts education, community development through the arts and artist development -- will be crucial as we develop a new long-range plan for the state’s wide-ranging and diverse arts community.”


The executive director serves as the agency’s chief executive officer and is responsible for organization and administration, program development, fiscal accountability and staff supervision. The agency’s nine-member board is appointed by the governor and works with the executive director to make policy, advocate for the arts and ensure public accountability.  


The board’s executive search committee, led by Commission Vice Chairman Dr. Sarah Lynn Hayes, conducted a three-month national search and reviewed 230 applications.


About SCAC:
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.