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Cultural Council Search Committee Unanimously Picks New Executive Director

Incoming Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Executive Director Joy Young
Joy Young giving a presentation during a 1 Million Cups event in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has named their next executive director - a 14 year veteran of the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Joy Young, who is leaving her position as the Director of Administration, Human Resources and Operations with the South Carolina Arts Commission in Columbia, South Carolina, is expected to start her new position with the CCGJ in early February.

Young has worked in the nonprofit and arts sectors for nearly twenty years. During her 14 years with the S.C. Arts Commission, she served in executive and programmatic leadership roles and spearheaded ArtsGrow SC, a nationally recognized creative industries program designed to give artists opportunities to develop and grow arts-based business ventures.

Joy Young, the next Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
Credit Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Joy Young, the next Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.

Prior to her time with the S.C. Arts Commission, she oversaw Special Projects at Community in Schools South Carolina, Inc., and she served as the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

Young also previously served on the Grantmakers in the Arts Support for Individual Artists Committee and she was a grant panelist for the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, South Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

She has had several stints as an adjunct teacher at Benedict College and the University of South Carolina and she is herself a performing artist. She has a Bachelor of Arts in music and  has completed a Master of Arts. She studied Voice Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. She’s certified in human resources and she has attained candidacy for a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership.

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville,” Young said. “This community boasts a rich palette of arts, culture and heritage. There is an engaged population of innovative creatives and a long-established arts community. I feel a creative energy here that can be tapped to positively impact people and the economy.”

“What I hope to bring to the table is a view of what the Council is now and work with the team to accomplish vision-inspired initiatives,” she said. “It is exciting to begin the next chapter of my arts career in Jacksonville.”

Young was one of 22 candidates from across the country who applied for the executive director position. She was unanimously selected by a search committee made up of Cultural Council board members and community representatives. She replaces Antonio “Tony” Allegretti, who stepped down from the role, which he had held since 2014, on September 30 of this year.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Joy’s caliber and experience to lead the Cultural Council,” said Ann Carey, chair of the CCGJ board and a member of the search committee. “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.”

The decision comes shortly after the CCGJ board of directors opted to forego an interim director rather than appoint Michael Boylan, the former CEO of WJCT, who was seen by many as a controversial pick. He is currently running for the City Council District 6 seat and was accused of making a racially insensitive comment in a Folio Weekly story from October.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.