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March 20 , 2012


Tennessee Arts Commission Announces New Executive Director
Anne B. Pope will begin work on May 14

NASHVILLE - - The Tennessee Arts Commission has announced the appointment of Anne B. Pope as the next executive director.  She succeeds the Commission’s long time director, Rich Boyd, who retired in January after 28 years of service.  Pope’s appointment becomes effective on May 14. She comes to the Commission with a wealth of experience - not only in all areas of government, but in the private sector as well.

“I am excited and honored to serve Governor Haslam and the citizens of Tennessee in an area of such value and importance to our state,” said Pope. “I am passionate about Tennessee’s unique artistic landscape and cultural heritage, and I am eager to be a part of moving the arts forward in ways that tell our story, strengthen our economy, enhance our communities, and teach our children to be creative and progressive thinkers.”

According to Ellen Hays, chair of the Commission, the selection of Pope will allow the Commission to keep working toward long-term strategic goals and achieving success in its various program areas. Considered one of the foremost state arts agencies in the nation, the Commission has made great strides in the areas of public funding, arts education, advocacy, promotion and preservation of cultural heritage, strategic planning, support of individual artists, and innovative services to constituents in all arts disciplines.

“Anne will bring a breadth and depth of experiences with her that will only further enrich the arts, and will in turn benefit all the citizens of Tennessee,” said Ellen Hays, chair of the Commission. “We are delighted that she will serve as our next executive director. I speak for the entire Commission when I say how much we are looking forward to working with her.”

Most recently Pope served as the executive director of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, a priority of the Tennessee First to the Top Initiative, designed to promote and expand the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in k-12 public schools across Tennessee.

“Anne has been instrumental in the partnership between the State of Tennessee and Battelle,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wadsworth, president and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, the largest research and development nonprofit in the world.  Battelle, in a public partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, is a managing partner of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network.

“We have made great progress together in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and with Tennessee’s Race to the Top award from the Department of Education,” added Dr. Wadsworth.

Prior to her work with the STEM Innovation Network, Pope served as federal co-chair of
the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership between the federal government and the governors of 13 states. She previously served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and as executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission.

In the private sector, Pope served as president/CEO of Proffitt’s of the Tri-Cities, Inc., formerly a division of Saks, Inc., and prior to that as president/CEO for the Parks-Belk  Co., a chain of department stores located in northeast Tennessee.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Pope is admitted to practice law in Tennessee and the District of Columbia.
Pope grew up in Kingsport Tennessee.  She enjoys music, film, reading, the outdoors, and spending time with her five-year-old son.


The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences that add value to the lives of every citizen, and enhances the quality of life in Tennessee communities.


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