Judy Byron

Executive Director Judy Byron to Retire from Arts for Lawrence

Judy ByronArts for Lawrence (AFL) Executive Director Judy Byron has announced her retirement, scheduled for September 2022.  

Byron has served in her current role as Executive Director since July 2012. Previously, she served as President of the Board from 2008-2012, focusing the grassroots organization’s mission on arts and culture.  

During her leadership, Byron designed and implemented visual, literary, and performing arts programs while working toward a larger vision of an arts and cultural destination. In 2015,  Byron led the organization to reopen the historic theater at the decommissioned Fort Harrison,  now known as Theater at the Fort. Byron was the grant writer and leader of a Lawrence committee that proposed the Fort Ben Cultural Campus to the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Strengthening Indianapolis Through Arts and Cultural Innovation initiative. The proposal resulted in a $5.85 million grant to create the Fort Ben Cultural Campus that opened in June  2021 and has served over 23,000 community members and visitors to date. 

Byron began her career in 1982, working in the fields of architecture, art, and design as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Moving to the Fort Ben area in 2004, Byron was inspired by a community with the opportunity to reinvent its downtown by repurposing the grand and historic buildings from the decommissioned Fort Harrison military base. Before her roles with Arts for Lawrence, Byron brought public art to the City of Lawrence through her positions as a Commissioner to the City of Lawrence Redevelopment Commission and  Chairman of the Fort Harrison Arts Committee appointed by the Fort Harrison Reuse  Authority.  

Judy Byron“I am thrilled to see so much of the vision executed and feel confident in the future growth for  Arts for Lawrence under new leadership. I am looking forward to being on the other side, a  patron bringing my grandchildren to performances and events,” said Judy Byron. 

“Judy has been an invaluable and visionary leader, building Arts for Lawrence into a cultural hub that honors the history and diversity of the Lawrence community. We will miss her, but we wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement,” said Emily Leiserson, AFL Board President.

Arts for Lawrence, working in partnership with Empower Nonprofit Consulting LLC, is seeking  Executive Director candidates. For more information, contact Don Gulbrandsen at (641) 373- 3375 or Don@EmpowerNonprofit.com.

Comments 3

  1. Janet L Harris says:

    Words can’t describe what a great job she’s done in such a short time. I met Judy Byron in 2013 and we have been friends every since. Judy had a building on Franklin Road an Art Center if you will. I road past and couldn’t believe there was a place for art enthuses in our neighborhood, so I stopped in one day after I ran home to get my artwork from my personal collect. I met Judy Byron and she sat with me and we talked art and we have been speaking the same language every since. I just loved her enthusiasms and passion for people and the arts. There will never be another Judy Byron with such creativity and passion and intelligence and strong spirted. She has put in her time and hard work I’ve seen it for myself many times and so have you. If we know anything about Judy Byron she has tenacity and super hero strength and we will all miss you and we thank you so much!! I would have never thought that there would be a plate form for the local community to share art exhibitions, theater, orchestras, classes, and a state of the art public swing set.. Judy Byron is next level and has made o lot of dreams come true. Feel free to always call on me for special behind the scene projects, you’re behind the scenes now but AFL is a part of who Judy Byron is. Thank you so much for everything, the community can’t thank you enough. Your friend for life Janet Harris.

  2. Margaret Mitchell says:

    I knew it was in you. you are a Gift.. Love you and enjoy your retirement.

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