Mark Williams, a long-time member of the Indianapolis Art Center board, has been chosen to serve as the nonprofit organization’s new executive director. Williams’ history with the Art Center goes back to his childhood, when he began taking youth classes there in the 1970s. He has served as an Art Center board member since 2008, chaired the board from 2013 to 2015, and is currently an emeritus board member.
To assume the new role, Williams will step away from imagenation, the marketing and branding firm he launched in 1996 and built to include offices in Indianapolis, New York and Fort Lauderdale.
“As a board, we’ve been exploring some very exciting plans for the Art Center. We developed and approved a new strategic plan in 2019 and I’m eager to see that through. I’ve always believed in the power of art, creativity and self-expression to transform individuals and communities, and I’m excited about this new opportunity.”
In addition to his work with the Art Center, Williams served on the Arts Council of Indianapolis task force that created the public art master plan for the city, helped to concept the organization’s annual fundraiser and arts season kickoff Start with Art, and developed the Indy Arts Guide, among many other collaborative projects. Other involvement in the local arts community includes most recently serving on the boards of Young Actors Theatre and Art with a Heart.
In the short term, Williams says he intends to see the Art Center invest in technology, review the class mix to ensure it offers the classes and programming that audiences want, and amplify the organization’s presence and collaborations. Longer term, the board is exploring opportunities for activating its entire campus, including its relationships with the adjoining White River and the Monon Trail.
“The future of the Art Center is extremely bright, and the board is thrilled that Mark agreed to take the helm and lead the organization into its next phase,” said Lisa McKinney, Art Center board chair and Bose McKinney & Evans partner.
Williams replaces Patrick Flaherty, who resigned after 16 years of service, the last six as president. Williams lives with his wife and children in downtown Indianapolis.
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Indianapolis Art Center
The Indianapolis Art Center builds community through art. Every year, the nonprofit offers hundreds of classes and camps, more than 50 art exhibitions in six galleries, an outreach program that takes art into underserved communities and the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Located in Broad Ripple, along the banks of the White River and steps from the Monon Trail, the Art Center includes a building designed by world-renowned architect and Indianapolis native Michael Graves and Indianapolis’ original ArtsPark, an outdoor creativity and sculpture garden and green space with trails.
Indianapolis Art Center Leadership
Mark Williams, Executive Director, July 3, 2020-present
Patrick Flaherty, President & Executive Director, 2014-2020
Carter Wolf, CEO, CEO 2009-2014
Joyce Sommers, President, 1976-2009