As reported by Elizabeth Kramer in the Courier-Journal...
The Louisville Fund for the Arts board of directors Tuesday named Barbara Sexton Smith the new president and chief executive officer of the organization for which she has been the interim leader since last April.
She took over after the organization’s previous head, Allan Cowen, resigned amid protests that arose when he left a hostile voice mail for an arts leader whose organization relies on contributions from the Fund for the Arts. She also headed the organization with the Louisville Orchestra at an impasse in negotiations over a new contract with its musicians.
An announcement from the board of directors said the decision to name Smith came after a yearlong search.
“We’ve had almost a year now of working with Barbara in that role and seeing her in action,” fund board chairman David Calzi said. “Barbara was just fabulous going out and working with our donors. … If you go to any performance, Barbara is usually there. She’s about the education aspects. She gets it.”
Smith, a native of Louisville and graduate of the University of Louisville College of Business who has worked for the fund for more than 14 years, said she sees the decision as “a vote of confidence in the team that we have.”