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Arts North Carolina Names New Executive Director


Nate McGaha has been named the new Executive Director of Arts North Carolina by Gilda McDaniel, Chair of the Board of Directors and Search Committee.  He replaces Karen Wells who has served for seventeen years as Executive Director.  Nate will begin his duties on July 10.

Ms. McDaniel states, “The Search Committee has worked diligently in the past weeks to identify the best candidate to follow Karen Wells as ED of Arts NC.  We are very pleased and confident that we have found the right person for the job. We are proud and excited to name Nate McGaha to the position of Executive Director of Arts NC.  The Search Committee is convinced that Nate has the skills, experience, personality and vision necessary to take Arts NC into its future.”

Holding diversity as a core value, the Search Committee decided to follow the Rooney Rule, which is a policy adopted by the National Football League that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs.  After the initial application review, the Search Committee selected 6 candidates to advance to the first interview round. That pool of 6 included 3 women and one person of color. 3 candidates were selected for final interviews. 2 of the 3 finalists were women, and 2 of the finalists reside in NC and one was from New York.

Nate has served as Executive Director of Carolina Ballet since 2013. He has a BFA in Design and Production from UNCSA and has worked as Director of Operations for Charlotte Ballet and as Production Manager for Chautauqua Dance Company.  Nate has served on the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors since 2013. He was Chair of Arts North Carolina when the search began and resigned his position to become an applicant.  Prior to his resignation as Chair, Nate was instrumental in planning the 2017 Arts Agenda and advocacy strategies which are still in play through the 2017-2018 Legislative Session.

Karen Wells stated upon receiving word of Nate’s appointment, “I am completely thrilled with the Search Committee’s decision, and I look forward to helping Nate transition into his new position.  He has demonstrated a full understanding of the Legislative process and will make an outstanding advocacy leader, and his time of service on the Arts North Carolina Board has given him intimate knowledge of the organization’s mission and service. He really is the perfect choice for the job.”

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