FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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FUND FOR THE ARTS HIRES ANDRE KIMO STONE GUESS AS PRESIDENT & CEO
LOUISVILLE, KY (May 19, 2021) – Fund for the Arts (FFTA) is pleased to announce that after an extensive nationwide search conducted by Arts Consulting Group, Andre Kimo Stone Guess will join the organization as President & CEO. Guess will step into the role on June 30, replacing Christen Boone, who is stepping down after serving for seven years.
Guess is a native Louisvillian and grew up in the Smoketown neighborhood. He brings over 20 years of experience in the arts sector, working with arts organizations and individual artists. Before leaving Louisville for New York in 2000, Guess served as Vice President for the Lincoln Foundation, Inc. He notably served as the Vice President and Producer of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in New York City and as President and CEO of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh. He has also owned and operated his management consulting firm, GuessWorks, Inc., for over 14 years. During that time, he managed the careers of world-class artists and consulted on many projects.
“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Christen for her years of inspirational leadership, and welcome Andre to the team,” Says Ja Hillebrand, Chairman and CEO of Stock Yards Bank & Trust and Fund for the Arts board chair. “After an exhaustive search for a visionary new President, we couldn’t be more excited to learn from Andre’s extensive experience.”
“During my time at the Fund for the Arts, we flipped the paradigm from ‘how can the community support the arts’ to ‘how can the arts best serve our community’. We have elevated the role of the arts in driving community impact – inspiring and educating children and families, revitalizing neighborhoods, creating powerful social connections and elevating Louisville as a world-class city of arts and culture.” Says Christen Boone. “Through the creative genius of our artists, tireless commitment of our arts leaders and board, generosity of our donors, and the power of our cross-sector partnerships, our arts and culture sector has grown through collaboration and shared vision. It has been a privilege to serve and it’s bittersweet to step down, but I know that I’m entrusting Fund
for the Arts to an incredible new leader. I am truly excited to see Andre bring his vision and leadership to the Fund for the Arts for a stronger, more inspired, more equitable Louisville.”
“I’m honored to take on the mantle of leading Fund for the Arts into its next chapter,” Guess says. “Under Christen’s leadership, the Fund for the Arts became a leader in serving the community through the arts. My hometown needs our support and investment more than ever, and I can’t wait to join the team and get to work.” Guess will become the fourth President & CEO of the 72-year old organization, one of the largest and most successful regional arts agencies of its kind in the country. The Fund for the Arts recently launched their new cultural plan, Imagine Greater Louisville
2025, and will look to Mr.Guess to continue to guide us with his experience and knowledge.
The Fund for the Arts works to advance equity across the cultural sector. The Fund is now leading key initiatives supporting our community after the economic impacts and social isolation of the COVID pandemic, and is helping our community to heal and address racial injustice. Guess’s experience in the transformative power of the arts and passion for this community will be a powerful combination to build upon and accelerate this important work.
For more information, visit fundforthearts.org.
About Fund for the Arts
Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the impact of the arts on economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund is a convener, promoter, leader, and driver of 5, the region’s arts and cultural plan. It facilitates the largest arts grant program in Kentucky as well as conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country. For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.org