CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 13, 2021) — R. Jeep Bryant, who has led the Arts & Science Council (ASC) through the most challenging period in its 63-year history, is resigning effective January 29. Bryant moved quickly to reengineer and strengthen ASC prior to the COVID-19 crisis and led the organization’s extensive response to the pandemic.
“We have made critical investments in the community during a time of great need. Despite the crushing impact of closed facilities and cancelled performances, we have sustained our support of arts, science and history organizations, creative individuals, and all who share in our commitment to equity,” Bryant said. “We’ve brought the cultural community together to address extraordinary challenges and to be ready to reopen as public health restrictions allow. We have never wavered from our commitment to ensure a vibrant cultural life for everyone in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.”
Bryant led 40 emergency meetings of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s cultural organizations from March to December, providing real-time information on federal, state and local relief efforts, helping the organizations share best practices for online fundraising and virtual programming, and planning for the ever-changing requirements for reopenings.
ASC recently awarded CARES relief funds to 123 creative individuals, as well as to 38 cultural nonprofits. ASC’s annual operating grants, announced in July, included an equity supplement for organizations led by and serving communities of color. ASC’s fellowship awards to creative individuals and its Cultural Vision Grants for community projects have been sustained despite the financial pressures of the pandemic.
“We cannot understate how much Jeep has done and has meant to ASC and more importantly, the cultural sector. His passion, compassion and openness have left an imprint on all of us,” said Susan Patterson, ASC board chair. “He leaves us with a strong staff, ensuring that our important work will continue.”
“The ASC team’s passionate spirit and the backing of our Board of Directors has made the work rewarding even in the toughest of times,” Bryant said. “In the months ahead, I will remain connected in whatever way I can be helpful, and I will continue to be a strong supporter of ASC’s valuable work.”
ASC’s Board expects to make an interim President decision next week. A new strategic visioning process for the organization has just begun and will continue.
ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.
ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Stay up to date on ASC news and happenings at ArtsAndScience.org and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Krista Terrell, APR