Arts United's board announced Friday that Executive Director Jim Sparrow will be leaving.
Sparrow has accepted the position of president and CEO of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County in North Carolina effective Sept. 20.
Sparrow has served as the executive director of Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne since 2006, and has been a part of the staff since 1998. Before becoming executive director, he served as director of development and education specialist.
In his 15 years at Arts United, Sparrow has played a crucial role in supporting more than 70 partnering arts and cultural organizations and helping arts-based community development initiatives such as the Fort Wayne Cultural District, Elevate Fort Wayne, IPFW Sculpture with Purpose, and the Indiana Arts Commission Regional Arts Partnership, according to a news release.
During Sparrow's tenure as executive director, Arts United has expanded grant opportunities to arts organizations, expanded the Arts Campus to include the Auer Center for Arts & Culture and the forthcoming ArtsLab black box theater, and deepened the level of business support services offered to arts organizations.
Sparrow also has served as a board member of several Fort Wayne-based organizations including Leadership Fort Wayne, Downtown Improvement District, Early Childhood Alliance, Downtown Development Committee for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance (now a part of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.), and the Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation Board. After he leaves Fort Wayne, he will continue to serve on the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Giving Board.
“Jim has been an amazing asset to both Arts United and our community,” said Andrew Boxberger, Arts United's board chair, in the release. “His vision and efforts have helped Arts United grow and expand our impact in the city, county and region. Thanks to Jim we are poised to continue with our vision of becoming a truly identifiable arts community. ”
Sparrow said in the release, ”It has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life to serve this community and to work with such outstanding arts groups and community volunteers. I know that the community is positioned for continued growth and success and am proud to have played even a small role in it over the years.”
The Arts United Board of Directors will begin an extensive search that will likely include applications from both local and national candidates. More information about the search will be released in the coming weeks.
Arts United's mission is to develop, coordinate and support arts and cultural efforts in northeast Indiana. To learn more, visit www.artsunited.org.