AAG Note: This is a story that personally saddens me. I have known Susan Weiner for many years and she is a strong advocate of the arts and has done, in my opinion, an outstanding job in her position as Executive Director of the Arts Council. She has always been responsive, been willing to go the extra mile for the arts and has initiated many fine programs that have helped artists across the region better artists, better able to support themselves in their chosen field. The state of Georgia has lost a superb, brilliant, and balanced voice. - Janet McGregor Dunn, Editor
As part of a reorganization of the Georgia Council for the Arts, Susan Weiner has departed her role as Executive Director of the Arts Council. The decision was made after an assessment of the goals and objectives of the agency, which is expected to become a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development for fiscal year 2012.
House Bill 264 proposes moving the state arts funding agency to the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The move, if approved by the state legislature, would provide greater leveraging of federal funding from sources such as the National Endowment for the Arts, and garner greater operational support for the daily functions of Georgia Council for the Arts. Thirty-eight states, including North Carolina and Florida, currently have arts councils that operate as a component of economic development or cultural agencies.
Although a current replacement for Ms. Weiner has not been named, Governor Deal is committed to appointing leadership for the Georgia Council for the Arts that is consistent with his vision of aligning the arts with the economic development of the state. Leadership for the agency, as required by the state, will be assessed by the Governor's office in the future.
Georgia Council for the Arts is a state agency that provides support for nonprofit arts organizations throughout the state. Established in 1965 as the Georgia Commission on the Arts, its mission is to encourage excellence in the arts, support the arts may forms of expressions and make the arts available to all Georgians by providing funding, leadership, programming and other services. Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Arts and other private and public sources.