Reflections on the 2023 Board & Alumni Reunion - Ted Abernathy

As South Arts draws near our 50-year celebration, we have been eager to connect with all those who have been of foundational leadership and support which makes today’s successes possible. We were enthused at the opportunity for a 2023 reunion where our South Arts Board were joined by Board alumni along with staff for a board meeting at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. We asked South Arts supporter and former board chair Ted Abernathy to reflect on the gathering, his time on our Board, and what it meant to see South Arts' new growth and leadership.

Members of the South Arts board of directors socializing at the Spoleto Festival.
Members of South Arts' Board of Directors
socializing at the Spoleto Festival.

“Reengaging with the South Arts board in Charleston was an amazing experience. After being away from the organization for a few years it was great to talk with old friends, to celebrate the ever-increasing impact that South Arts is having on the vitality in our region, and to enjoy a few days of astounding Spoleto arts experiences.”
~ Ted Abernathy 

Could you tell us about your personal history with South Arts? When were you on the board, when did you complete your term? 
I was on the board from 2009 through 2020. The first term was due to my role as executive director at the Southern Growth Policies board and then I served two addition terms, the final four years as Board Chairman.

How and why do you continue to engage with South Arts as supporter? Any Committees you currently serve on?
I serve on the audit committee and am engaged as a donor.

South Arts' Board of Directors.
South Arts' Board of Directors.

What motivated you to join us for the Charleston Board Meeting and Board Alumni gathering? 
Susie asked me if I would attend and provide some perspective on the evolution of the board over the past decade. I live on the coast of North Carolina and it was an easy trip. I was also interested in the new scope of work and in having a chance to see a few old friends.

Any specific memorable moments from the gathering, board meetings, alumni reunion, or Spoleto festival activities? What was most personally rewarding?
The most rewarding part was to just see how far the organization has come during Susie’s leadership time and to hear about the amazing impact that South Arts is having on the lives of Southern artists and communities across the South.

What would you want fellow South Arts Board alumni and supporters to know about future re-engagement opportunities?
You would have a chance to see the harvest from the seeds sown during your time on the board and you would be amazed and proud.

Anything else to share?
Keep it up.

Board Meeting - Spoleto
Ted Abernathy (far left) along with current and former South Arts leadership at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Return to South Arts' 2023 Annual Report

Return to the annual report to continue reading about South Arts' work in 2023.

2023 Annual Report