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Longtime Leader Of Mid-America Arts Alliance Announces Retirement

courtesy: Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance CEO Mary Kennedy has announced her resignation, effective Oct. 1. 

Kennedy is the third CEO of the regional nonprofit arts organization, having served in that role since 2000. Her connection to M-AAA dates back to 1989, when she joined the organization as curator of exhibitions for ExhibitsUSA, the national traveling exhibition program. 

"It has been an honor to work for an organization whose mission so closely emulates my own: more art for more people," Kennedy said in a news release. 

Kennedy is credited with providing stability for M-AAA through her budgeting and management.

During Kennedy's tenure, the organization served more than 13 million people, raised more than $25 million for M-AAA programs and services, and built a partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch the national NEH on the Road program

Credit courtesy: Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance is headquartered at 2018 Baltimore in the Crossroads Arts District.

One of Kennedy's more visible accomplishments: completing a $4 million campaign to purchase and renovate a new headquarters in the Crossroads Arts District. The venue hosts exhibitions as well as concerts in an outdoor space. 

M-AAA board chair Ed Clifford will lead the national search for the next leader of the organization. 

"She and her team are responsible for the amazing growth of the organization, and its position as a go-to for arts organizations in our region, as well as nationally, and, during the last several years, internationally," said Clifford.

"The Board of Directors wishes to thank her for that service and looks forward to her influence in the arts world as she transitions to a new role." 

Kennedy plans to start her own consulting firm, and will consult with M-AAA until a new CEO has been hired. COO Todd Stein will act as interim CEO. 

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter at @lauraspencer.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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