Home   :   About Us   :   What's New   :   Arts Calendar   :   The Hub   :   Contact Us   :   Foundation

S.C. Arts Commission Press Releases

Executive Director Ken May Elected to National Grantmakers Board


Dec. 13, 2016

Media Contact:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698

Ken MaySEATTLE – South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May has been elected to the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors. He will serve a three-year term beginning January 2017.


Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) is the only national association of both public and private arts and culture funders in the U.S., including independent and family foundations, public agencies, community foundations, corporate philanthropies, nonprofit regrantors, and national service organizations – funders of all shapes and sizes across the U.S. and into Canada. GIA provides leadership and service that advances the use of philanthropic and governmental resources to support the growth of the arts and culture.


With offices in Seattle, GIA sponsors an annual conference; research and publications on arts philanthropy, including The Reader periodical; and a robust website with a library of studies and articles. The organization hosts regional and local workshops on issues such as capitalization of the nonprofit arts sector, artists working in community settings, arts and medicine, and the environment. GIA is a leading proponent for racial equity in arts philanthropy and policy changes at the federal level in arts education, arts and aging and juvenile justice.


May joined the S.C. Arts Commission in 1985 and was named executive director in 2010. He has played a key role in the creation of many of the agency’s nationally recognized programs and partnerships in arts education, community design, public participation in the arts, rural arts development, and career development for artists. May has served as a panelist and site-visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts; a panelist, presenter, consultant, and facilitator for national, state, and local arts organizations; and a guest lecturer in arts administration programs at the College of Charleston and Winthrop University. He is a member of the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, South Arts, and South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, and is an alumnus fellow of the Diversity Leaders Initiative of the Riley Institute at Furman University. May has worked previously as a professional musician. He received undergraduate and master’s degrees in music history and musicology from Florida State University.


Others elected to the GIA board of directors are: Jaime Dempsey, deputy director of Arizona Commission on the Arts; and Sharnita Johnson, arts program director of The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Re-elected to a second term are Denise Brown, executive director of Leeway Foundation; Kerry McCarthy, program director – thriving communities at The New York Community Trust; and Angelique Power, president of The Field Foundation of Illinois. Beginning in 2017, Power will assume a two-year term as chair of GIA, while McCarthy will serve as vice chair.


About the South Carolina Arts Commission:
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 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.