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Leader of key Charlotte arts group is retiring

Robert Bush Jr, president of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council is retiring in June 2019. Bush was named president of the council in 2014.
Robert Bush Jr, president of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council is retiring in June 2019. Bush was named president of the council in 2014. Courtesy of ASC

The leader of the Arts & Science Council, a prominent Charlotte arts organization, will retire next year.

Robert Bush Jr, president of the council for the past four years, will leave the organization in June 2019, ASC announced Wednesday.

Bush first joined ASC in 2000 and served as the council’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer. He was interim president of the group in 2013, before becoming president in 2014.

“It has been a high point in my career to lead ASC,” Bush said in a statement. “I am proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. But I did not accomplish any of this alone but through the partnerships I’ve had with ASC’s board, staff, cultural organizations, artists and the broader community. There is still much work to do before I begin a new adventure.”

Bush, a Hickory native, began working in Charlotte’s arts scene in the 1980s as the first director of the Mint Museum of Art.

He has been recognized for his efforts to support the county’s art and cultural community. In 2002 and 2003, he helped gain approval of public art ordinances for the county and city of Charlotte, according to a release.

Bush has also helped aid arts and cultural education in the county. He helped establish Studio 345, a high school program that encourages Mecklenburg County students to graduate and pursue post-high school opportunities.

“Robert has been a passionate and inspiring leader while expanding awareness and participation in our arts and culture community,” Charlotte city manager Marcus Jones said in a statement. “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Robert for the past two years and witnessing his enthusiasm for Charlotte and our marvelous creative community.”

ASC will have a national search for a new president for the council, the organization said in a release. A committee comprised of local business, civic and cultural leaders will assist in the search.

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