Lexington, KY - As LexArts president and CEO Jim Clark prepares to resign his position effective June 30, the organization’s board chair, John Long, sees the change in leadership as an opportunity for the board to “check our compass setting and make sure it’s pointed in the right direction.”
“We’re not going to rush into a search,” Long said, in regard to finding a replacement for Clark. “That position requires a lot of different talents and skills and abilities.”
Among them, Long said, are the ability to fundraise effectively; to be a great administrator; to serve as a visionary; to demonstrate strong interpersonal skills; to act as a bridge builder; and to maintain not just a solid understanding of the local arts and culture scene, but also a national outlook. However, Long said, the order of importance on the many skill sets required for the job has yet to be determined.
The board will take time in the coming months to consider all the qualities it wants in LexArts’ next leader and to rank them in accordance with the organization’s priorities, Long said.
Long said the organization also plans to engage its partner organizations early in the process.
“I don’t think LexArts can do this in a vacuum,” Long said. “[The partnering organizations] are all part of the recipe of what this new leader will be about.”
Long said that the leadership transition at LexArts also offers a good opportunity to take a wider look at the recent growth and transformation of Lexington’s overall arts and cultural community.
“If you connect all the dots, I think there is something happening here in Lexington. We need to understand what’s causing that, and what it all means and what our role is,” Long said. “We need to reassess our relationships with all of our partnership organizations; we need to make sure we are complimentary rather than competitive.”
Long expects that the board will prioritize the desirable qualities and skills for LexArts’ next leader and be ready to seek the right candidates by the beginning of next year.