ARTworks gets business-focused executive director

emoody@beaufortgazette.comAugust 19, 2013 

Keith Mahoney has been named the executive director of ARTworks.

ERIN MOODY, STAFF PHOTO

Keith Mahoney calls himself an unrepentant capitalist and says he can barely draw a line.

And now, ARTworks calls Mahoney its executive director.

The recent transplant from Florida said he has agreed to handle the business aspects of the gallery and performance space run by the Arts Council of Beaufort, Port Royal & Sea Islands.

"What I want to do is bridge the creative artist with the capitalist," said Mahoney, who also is CEO of The Human Factor LLC, an executive-search consulting firm, which he will continue to run.

Mahoney wants to create a more financially stable ARTworks that will become a model for similar organizations.

"What are we without the humanities?" he said. "Nothing. The humanities take the sharp edge off of life."

Mahoney assumes the title that until recently was held by JW Rone.

The organization's leaders recently decided to divide the responsibilities the executive director once handled alone.

Rone takes on the newly created position of artistic director.

Past board president Deanna Bowdish becomes gallery curator, also a new position.

Other local artists have agreed to teach and coordinate public classes, including Alana Adams of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and S.C. 2010 Craft Fellow Kim Keats. Keats is known for her basket weaving, Rone said.

"Each one of these people is going to help us expand our reach with the community," he said.

Board member Melissa Florence was to fill the executive director position starting Thursday, but declined the role.

Mahoney was contacted about it Thursday afternoon and accepted on Friday.

Mahoney's duties include combing through five years of finances, as well as identifying events that are profitable, such as the annual Mardi Gras celebration, and creating more of them.

Some events that run at a deficit could be eliminated, Mahoney added, but he doesn't know which ones yet.

He said he would seek the board's input before ending them.

Mahoney intends to move ARTworks' financial base from government funding toward business donations.

"If someone says they like what we're doing, I'm going to ask them for a check," he said. "... Be ready for my visits and be ready for my phone calls."

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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