Nan Plummer is named head of Kentucky art group | Rock Candy

Nan Plummer is named head of Kentucky art group


Nan Plummer, soon to be president and CEO of LexArts.
  • Nan Plummer, soon to be president and CEO of LexArts.
Ellen "Nan" Plummer, the former director of the Arkansas Arts Center, has been named president and CEO of LexArts, a Lexington, Ky., non-profit arts agency. 

Plummer was quoted in the Lexington-Herald Leader as saying she feels "a beautiful sense of welcome. ... I'm so looking forward to getting down to work with the staff and the board as a whole, and I feel very well prepared to roll up my sleeves and tune up my ears and get going."  

Plummer left the Arts Center after its exhibition "World of the Pharaohs" caused financial distress, largely due to a disingenuous promise by a board member of $500,000 that never materialized. The board member, Elgin Clemons Jr., later surrendered his law licenses in Arkansas and New York and settled suits against him out of court. LexArts was apprised of the Arts Center situation by Plummer:

Plummer left before the exhibit closed and acknowledges it was because "the board wanted a change in leadership because of the difficulties and the disappointments with the exhibit."

Plummer said she thought the exhibit accomplished its educational and community goals, but she said the center probably let expectations get out of hand. She also said two significant problems were an expected $500,000 donation that did not materialize and the exhibit launching in the depths of the Great Recession. Among lessons she said she learned were building up contingency funds and developing a more thorough consensus about the potential risks and rewards of major projects.

Smith said that Plummer was upfront about the situation and that through her conversation with the search committee and interviews with her references, "We were convinced there was nothing there that impugned her ability or judgment to lead LexArts."
Plummer, now a senior development officer at Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation, will take the job in Lexington on Nov. 17. According to the Herald-Leader, raises millions of dollars annually to support its and partner organizations visual and performing arts programs in Lexington.  

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