Cultural Council finds new executive director

St. Johns County Cultural Council President, Tommy Bledsoe, announced to Historic City News yesterday that Andrew Witt has been hired as the executive director beginning January 2, 2012.

Following a nationwide search, Witt was reportedly hired from a pool of 78 applicants.

Witt will be leaving his position as executive director of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties in Columbia, South Carolina to accept this new position and previously served for 16 years as the executive director of the Arts Council of Northwest Florida in Pensacola.

“His background also includes management of several regional theatre companies in Seattle and Atlanta, and the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Colorado,” Bledsoe said. “He has experience working in an executive leadership role with non-profit and for-profit arts groups.”

Witt earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut, and a master’s degree from the University of Washington.

Bledsoe told reporters that Witt has the right background for this position; one of several stipulations included in the contract and required before the Cultural Council assumes a larger role with the Tourist Development Council.

“We are very pleased to have Andy join us at this exciting time for the Arts in St. Johns County,” commented Bill Coleman, chairman of the Cultural Council’s search committee. “His extensive experiences in grants management, including tourist tax grants, fundraising, and developing and implementing programs and services that address the needs of organizations of all budget sizes, make him the best person for the job.”

Witt and his wife, Cindy Nixon-Witt, have three adult children — Casey Nixon an attorney in Bozeman Montana, Caryann Moody, director of public events for the Atlanta History Center, and Tara Nixon, a professional singer who is completing a master’s degree in speech pathology at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. His wife works as a certified life and executive coach.

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