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Arts Council Names Howard Upchurch as Interim President & CEO



Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County Names Howard Upchurch as Interim President & CEO

Board of Trustees launches search for new permanent leadership


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (January 22, 2024) – The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is pleased to announce the appointment of Howard Upchurch as its Interim President & CEO, effective immediately. Upchurch, who rejoined the Arts Council’s Board of Trustees in January 2023, has been serving on the executive committee as the Vice Chair over the last year. He brings a wealth of experience to this interim position and will play a critical role in ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining consistent and strong operations during the search for the next leader of the organization. He will take over for Chase Law, the Arts Council’s current president and CEO, who announced her departure in early January 2024.


“I have been inspired by the incredible, positive impact of and changes in the Arts Council over the last 3 years,” Upchurch said. “I understand that filling this interim role is both a privilege and a great responsibility. I appreciate the trust the Board has placed in me, and I am eager to help the Arts Council continue moving forward.”


Chase Law’s last day as the President and CEO of the Arts Council will be February 16th. Between now and that time, Law will work closely with Upchurch to onboard him to ensure he can step into the role with ease.


Along with the Board of Trustees, Upchurch will also be supported by Rebecca Bender, Arts Council’s current COO/CFO. Bender will now serve as the COO and Chief of Staff. In this role, she will support and partner with Upchurch and will lead staff relations and day-to-day operations, to ensure the Arts Council continued success.


Law states, “I am leaving the Arts Council in incredibly capable hands. I cannot think of a better combination than Howard and Rebecca to carry on the important work of the Arts Council for our community.”


The Board of Trustees has also formed a special committee, made up of current and past trustees, that will lead the search to identify a permanent CEO replacement for the Arts Council. A position profile has been drafted and the formal search will begin in the coming weeks.


Board chair Chad Cheek said, “The Board and I have great confidence in Howard during this time of transition. I have known Howard for many years; he is a trusted leader with a passion for the arts and Winston-Salem. I am confident that the staff and mission will thrive under Howard’s leadership while the search is underway for the person who will lead the Arts Council into its next chapter.” 


Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County is the chief advocate of the arts and cultural sector in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Arts Council’s goal is to serve as a leader in lifting up, creating awareness, and providing support to grow and sustain the arts and cultural offerings throughout our region, ultimately bringing our community together and making it a great place to live, work, and play.


For additional information, please contact:

Katie Hall, Chief Marketing Officer and VP, Development


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