Fund for the Arts (The Fund) has selected André Kimo Stone Guess as President & CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on June 30, 2021. Mr. Guess will be the fourth President & CEO in the organization’s 72 years, replacing Christen Boone, who has led the nonprofit for seven years.
A native Louisvillian, Mr. Guess brings more than 20 years of experience in the arts sector, working with arts organizations and individual artists. For more than 14 years, he has also owned and operated management consulting firm, GuessWorks, Inc. During that time, he managed the careers of world-class artists and provided management, consulting, and producing services to arts organizations and nonprofits. His clients included Signature Theatre, MCC Theater, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York City Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Soulful Symphony, among others. Mr. Guess has also notably served as Vice President for the Lincoln Foundation, Inc., Vice President and Producer of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and President and CEO of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center.
Mr. Guess is a freelance cultural critic and writer whose work has been published in The Courier-Journal, USA Today, and various Gannett local papers. He had also served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and Kentucky Derby Festival. He holds a bachelor of science in economics from the University of Louisville and has completed coursework towards a doctor of philosophy degree in urban and public affairs.
“Through the creative genius of our artists, tireless commitment of our arts leaders and board, generosity of our donors, and the power of our cross-sector partnerships, our arts and culture sector has grown through collaboration and shared vision,” said Ms. Boone. “It has been a privilege to serve and it’s bittersweet to step down, but I know that I’m entrusting Fund for the Arts to an incredible new leader. I am truly excited to see Andre bring his vision and leadership to the Fund for the Arts for a stronger, more inspired, more equitable Louisville.”
In making the announcement, Fund for the Arts Board Chair Ja Hillebrand said, “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Christen for her years of inspirational leadership, and welcome Andre to the team. After an exhaustive search for a visionary new President, we couldn’t be more excited to learn from Andre’s extensive experience.”
“I’m honored to take on the mantle of leading Fund for the Arts into its next chapter,” said Mr. Guess. “Under Christen’s leadership, Fund for the Arts became a leader in serving the community through the arts. My hometown needs our support and investment more than ever, and I can’t wait to join the team and get to work.”
“Congratulations to the Fund for the Arts board, senior leadership team, and staff on a successful search for its new President & CEO,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “André Kimo Stone Guess’ deep connection to the Louisville community and his strategic vision will help the Fund enhance the community’s vibrancy through the power of the arts and strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of arts and cultural organizations for years to come.”