Arts Commission picks its new director

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 11:45pm
Staff reports

After more than a year without a permanent full-time leader, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission has named its new director.

The MNAC selected Jennifer Gilligan Cole as executive director at a special session Thursday from a list of three finalists.

Commission chair Jane Alvis said she had hoped to recommend a new director at a meeting in early December, but said the search committee just wasn’t ready.

At the time of the Dec. 4 meeting, she said the commission would consider holding a special meeting to recommend the selection so that they could start with the new year, which it did.

Gilligan Cole, who is the wife of Metro Councilman Erik Cole.

More than 400 candidates applied for the position, and a search committee interviewed 14 applicants before narrowing the list to three finalists, who all currently live in Nashville.

The other finalists were Celeste Wilson and Elaine Wood.

Sandra Duncan has held the position on an interim basis since last year when then-Executive Director Norree Boyd was fired after a job review revealed she had poor communications skills, failed to take responsibility for certain actions and developed a spotty record of attending Metro Council meetings on behalf of the commission.