Arts 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.
“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.