ARTworks seeking executive director - again

emoody@beaufortgazette.comOctober 27, 2013 


For the second time in just more than two months, the nonprofit arts program ARTworks again seeks an executive director.

An interim executive director, Keith Mahoney, was appointed briefly in August but left after it became clear his vision did not match the board's. Mahoney and ARTworks board president Jean Norton-Torjussen both said Mahoney's departure was a mutual decision.

Now, the search commences anew.

"We need someone with a lot of energy, someone committed to the arts, someone organized, and someone who can definitely get along with the community and the arts community," Norton-Torjussen said.

The organization is accepting applications, with a deadline tentatively set for Nov. 15. Norton-Torjussen said the board hopes to have someone in the job at the start of the year.

Longtime executive director JW Rone is taking on Mahoney's old duties during the search.

Mahoney, who came to the job with a business background, expressed concerns about the organization's finances. He said he wanted to emphasize fundraising and reorganize its programs -- and joked while offering this assessment that he gave the board a common enemy and a reason to work together more closely.

Norton-Torjussen said ARTworks is not struggling financially and has enough money to continue and expand programming. She also is working to establish an endowment fund in 2014.

A three-person search committee is being formed to make recommendations to the board, which will have the final say, Norton-Torjussen said.

The job is being advertised locally, as well as in Columbia, Charleston and Savannah. Pay is negotiable.

Extensive experience is not a requirement, Norton-Torjussen said, and applicants need not be artists. They should be involved with and passionate about art, however.

"I think, if they're the right person, we will work around their strengths and talents," she said.

Norton-Torjussen said the ARTworks board wants to focus on programs, including after-school outreach classes and activities for children, concerts such as the Street Music series in Port Royal and other community events.

Rone will help the new director get acclimated until at least February, when other commitments will mean he spends less time in the Lowcountry for a while. Also working with the new director will be past board president Deanna Bowdish, who filled a recently created position as gallery curator.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at

Related content: ARTworks gets business-focused executive director, Aug. 19, 2013

Leadership team expanding at Beaufort's ARTworks, Aug. 18, 2013

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