The head of Charlotte's Arts & Science Council has announced plans to retire. Robert Bush said Wednesday he will step down at the end of council's fiscal year, June 30, 2019.
Bush is a native of Hickory who has been with the nonprofit arts organization since 2000. He became interim CEO in 2013 and was named to the job permanently in 2014.
“It has been a high point in my career to lead ASC,” Bush said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I am proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. But, I did not accomplish any of this alone but through the partnerships I’ve had with ASC’s board, staff, cultural organizations, artists and the broader community. There is still much work to do before I begin a new adventure.”
The ASC raises money to support the arts and arts organizations in the Charlotte region. Both before and since becoming CEO, Bush has led the ASC through fundraising ups and downs and a shift in its role. The ASC was once a major supporter of the city's big arts and cultural institutions. Many of those groups now rely more heavily on separate fundraising for operating support.
Under Bush's leadership in 2015, the organization expanded grants to smaller organizations that the ASC said "more fully reflect the region’s diversity."
The ASC said it plans a national search to replace him. A search committee will be co-chaired by ASC board chair Paula Vincent and chair-elect Valecia McDowell.