Provancher leaving helm of ASC

Scott Provancher, who took the helm of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council four years ago in the depths of the recession and led its rebound in fundraising, announced Wednesday he is leaving the organization this summer.

Provancher said he plans to launch a consulting business on fundraising strategies while remaining active in Charlotte civic events.

“I believe the timing is right for me to pursue my entrepreneurial interests and passion for bringing new thinking and innovation to the fundraising arena,” he said in a statement. “I hope to pioneer different fundraising approaches that connect organizations, donors and communities.”

Provancher has already signed on with the Music Hall Revitalization Co. in Cincinnati to help raise $90 million needed to renovate the historic Over-the-Rhine Music Hall, built in 1878. His one-year contract with the organization begins July 1.

Provancher joined the ASC in 2009, when the group’s annual campaign brought in $7 million, 37 percent below its goal. Last year the ASC raised $8.4 million, about $300,000 short of its goal, but up $100,000 from 2011.

Endowment earnings and government grants made up the rest of the ASC’s $12.5 million total for distribution to cultural groups.

Provancher was 32 years old and vice president of Cincinnati’s Fine Arts Fund when he was chosen from among 200 candidates for the top ASC post. He earned a reputation as a dynamic leader and innovator in civic and cultural circles. Under his leadership, the ASC broadened its fundraising targets to make up for the slump in corporate donations and launched an online fundraising site – power2give.org – that raised nearly $500,000.

Under Provancher, the ASC also completed the private endowment campaign for the Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street, a complex of three museums and the Knight Theater. It also provided money to underwrite transportation for student field trips to cultural sites when school budgets were cut.

Provancher said his consulting business will be based in both in Charlotte and Cincinnati. His wife, Teresa Hoelle, in August became vice president of development at ArtWorks, a leading Cincinnati nonprofit serving the city’s creative community.

“Scott has been a great leader for ASC, helping the organization adapt and positioning us to move forward,” ASC board Chairwoman Linda Lockman-Brooks said in a statement. “We will continue to build on our momentum in supporting the cultural sector and wish Scott well.”

Lockman-Brooks said an interim president will be named soon to take over after Provancher’s June 30 departure, and a nationwide search will be launched to find his successor.