Archive for January 6th, 2012

Head of For Arts’ Sake Resigns

Deborah Edward, head of the Mayor’s For Arts’ Sake initiative, is leaving Sacramento to head Portland’s Business Culture for the Arts.

Edward was hand-picked to run Mayor Johnson’s arts program barely a year ago.  Coming from Austin, Texas, Edward boasted an impressive resume in the arts, including experience as the Executive Director of the Austin Children’s Museum which she also co-founded.  Edward arrived in Sacramento with big plans and high hopes saying, “I am inspired by the can-do attitude of the Mayor and his team as well as the creativity and commitment of artists and arts organizations. Sacramento is to be commended for not only making a plan to grow the arts, but also putting resources behind the implementation.”

The reality has been a bit different.

For Arts’ Sake has struggled to find its place in the region’s art scene.  The mission of FAS has often found itself butting up against the mission of SMAC, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Council – an organization with a 30+ year history, and a long record of successes in the region.  While Johnson has clearly put energy into promoting FAS,  active participation from the local arts community has been dwindling, and many say that the program has failed to live up to its billing.

Edward’s departure for greener pastures leaves a big hole in the program – it will be interesting to see what’s next for For Arts’ Sake.