A Message from the Executive Director

Nate McGaha at ARTS Day 2017

Nate McGaha at ARTS Day 2017

While I have had the honor of holding the position of Executive Director of Arts North Carolina for a few weeks, it has been only a few days since I have held it alone. There is no doubt that Karen Well’s 17 years of leadership transformed this organization. Through her tireless work, and with the help of all of you, she leaves this post having changed North Carolina for the better, providing both opportunity and joy to the citizens of this state. There is only one way to thank her for the strong foundation of passion and advocacy she has provided, and that is to continue to build upon it.

I have lived in North Carolina for over 25 years, first as an art student at UNC School of the Arts; then as an artist, collaborating with some of the world’s most renowned talent here in the tar heel state; and most recently as an arts administrator, helping to bridge the divide between artistic vision and artistic reality.

It was as Executive Director of Carolina Ballet that I found myself attending my first Arts Day and being introduced to the vision of Arts North Carolina. That first day standing side by side with arts advocates from the entire state, aligned in both purpose and vision, was simultaneously humbling and empowering. In the halls of the General Assembly the next day, advocating for a vision of the arts in North Carolina, I discovered something I had not expected, a sense of renewed purpose and belonging.

I was glad to have an ally in Arts NC as the challenges and victories for the arts in our state progressed. I was honored by the invitation to join the Arts NC Board of Directors, and humbled to be asked to serve in its leadership. As my role in the organization grew, I developed a deeper passion for the work, and a stronger commitment to the mission of uniting people and communities to strengthen and celebrate a creative North Carolina.

Serving as Executive Director of Arts North Carolina is both an honor and responsibility that I take very seriously, as I am not only advocating for the arts, but for my children to live in a state that can provide them the same rich life and experiences that I have had. Arts NC is not just advocating for funding, but for opportunity and access to the arts for a diverse tapestry of North Carolinians. We are not just advocating for policy, but for the possibility that we can live in a state where the arts are embraced as indispensable by all. We are not just advocating for the arts, but for who we are and how we share that with the world.

I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to enable a creative infrastructure that serves all people. I know that the unity of our purpose will focus the diversity of our ideas into the advocacy and action that we will undertake together.

Thank you all for all you do,

Nate McGaha
Executive Director
Arts North Carolina