After a months-long search that included lots of art community input, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has hired Joy Young to head up the organization, in the role of executive director. Young arrives from the South Carolina Arts Commission in Columbia, South Carolina, where she was the director of administration, human resources and operations.
An artist herself, Young earned a Bachelor of Arts in music, studied Voice Performance at Manhattan School of Music and completed a Master of Arts. She seems to be one of the extraordinary creative people who can fuse passion and intellectual rigor. She has also received certification in human resources employee relations law and mediation. If that's not enough, she attained candidacy for a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership.
Young is an advocate for artists. In 2017 she conceived and implemented a program for The South Carolina Arts Commission, which (according to the Upstate Business Journal), launched the pilot of ArtsGrow SC. The program allowed qualifying artists or creative ventures to have access to a matched savings program, or Individual Development Accounts (IDA) For Artists, as well as micro-loans, business venture loans, grants, personalized coaching and workshops.
In 2018 she was one of several presenters at South Carolina African American Heritage Commission’s “Teacher Institute.” The mission of the institute was to help teachers in SC better understand the state’s African American heritage. Additionally, her work included a cultural tourism grant program that returned $2.1 million dollars in economic impact.
Ann Carey, CCGJ board chair and member of the search committee said, “Joy is a strong communicator with deep leadership capabilities. When we interviewed her, it was clear that she brings the energy, passion and expertise that we need at this critical moment in the organization’s history.”
Young seems to be poised to place artists at or near the center of the work she’ll do here in Jacksonville. It will be an interesting change in the direction of dialogue and intention: to watch the potential impact on artists, not just with artists.