Award-winning community leader is the second Black woman to guide ASC.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 27, 2021) – The Arts & Science Council (ASC) Board of Directors has hired Krista Terrell, an accredited public relations practitioner, as president effective immediately. Terrell, a highly regarded leader in the nonprofit creative sector, has been with the local arts agency for 19 years and had served as acting president since January. Prior to serving as acting president, she was vice president, marketing and communications.
Terrell is experienced in creating, leading and implementing various ASC community initiatives, including Culture Feast, where 1,000 people shared a community table dinner in uptown Charlotte and connected through arts and cultural experiences, and Connect with Culture Day, where more than 11,000 residents engaged in free access to arts and cultural experiences. She also launched CharlotteCultureGuide.com, a consumer-facing platform that serves as a gateway for residents and visitors to learn about and connect to arts and cultural experiences.
Terrell is the second Black woman and second person of color to lead ASC, following Harriet Sanford (2000-04).
“The ASC Board is pleased that Krista has agreed to continue as president, after being named acting president earlier this year,” said ASC Board Chair Susan Patterson. “Krista operates with integrity and openness – much needed qualities in this time of great change.”
Terrell has been with the organization since 2002 and knows the organization well, Patterson said. Her deep understanding of and passion for ASC’s mission of cultural equity led the Board to forgo an external search. She has moved expeditiously but with care for her staff in making difficult budget and staffing decisions, Patterson said.
“I don’t think we could have a better leader for ASC at this time,” Patterson said.
Terrell assumes the helm at ASC at a pivotal time, as the city of Charlotte considers bypassing ASC and managing the funding process for arts and culture. For decades ASC has functioned as the designated office of cultural affairs for the city (and Mecklenburg County). In that role, ASC has collaborated with the city on issues facing the sector, most recently working with DreamKey (formerly the Charlotte Housing Partnership) to help local creatives receive mortgage and rent relief dollars. Despite decades of close collaboration, the city developed its cultural sector recommendations without seeking public input from ASC, individual artists, creative organizations or residents.
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead an amazing and thoughtful team as we transform ASC by centering community in all that we do, lead by listening, securing the financial resources needed and investing in the people, organizations, programs and ideas that move us toward a more equitable, sustainable and innovative creative ecosystem,” said Terrell. “I am grateful for the board’s confidence in and support of me.”
Prior to joining ASC, Terrell served as public relations and marketing director for Community School of the Arts (now Arts+) and worked in public relations at Johnson C. Smith University, her alma mater. She currently serves on the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Steering Committee for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Remembrance Project, a local effort to join Equal Justice Initiative’s nationwide movement to expose and concretize the horrors of white supremacy and the legacy of racial terrorism.
“Krista has been a steady force in the cultural sector and in Charlotte,” said Americans for the Arts Vice President of Equity and Local Arts Engagement Ruby Lopez Harper. “It is exciting to see her move into this leadership role and we look forward to working with her in our efforts to advance the local arts field.”
Highlights of Terrell’s community leadership include participation in The Lee Institute’s Leading for Change, Community Building Initiative’s Leadership Development Initiative and Leadership Charlotte. She also served on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Foundation Social Capital Grants Committee and on the board of directors of Mitchell’s Fund. She is a member of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
She received the inaugural Mosaic Award in 2020 from the PRSA Charlotte chapter for advancing the cause of diversity, equity and inclusion in her work and was named a 2019 Fellow by Reframe, a people leaders platform that helps build inclusive employee and customer experiences.
“Krista Terrell has more than 20 years of service to Charlotte’s arts community and during her time has championed community-based arts projects that builds social capital – an intangible, cross-cutting factor vital to upward mobility,” said Dr. Ricky A. Woods, senior minister at First Baptist Church–West in Charlotte and a former member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force. “From Connect with Culture Days to Culture Blocks, she has been a driving force behind ASC programs that have connected artists with multigenerational audiences, opened the door for additional community collaborations and built a wider appreciation for the arts throughout the entire Charlotte community.”
Terrell, a native of Augusta, Ga., is married to Gerald Terrell, Jr. They have two young sons.
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.