Press Release: ArtsMemphis Announces New Leadership

For immediate release

MEMPHIS, TN  (June 23, 2014) – Susan Schadt who has been President & Chief Executive Officer of ArtsMemphis for the past 13 years, has stepped down as President of the arts funding organization. She will remain CEO of ArtsMemphis until December 31, 2014, when she will become CEO and owner of Wild Abundance Publishing, a Memphis-based firm that specializes in the publication of books that focuses on conservation and the arts.

Elizabeth Rouse, ArtsMemphis’ Chief Operating Officer, has been elected as President and COO by the Board of Directors of ArtsMemphis. Rouse, who joined ArtsMemphis in 2006, also has served as the organization’s Chief Development Officer. She will become President and CEO on January 1, 2015.

 “Elizabeth is a fantastic asset to ArtsMemphis and our great success over the years is based in large part on her contributions, including her expertise in fundraising and grant making. I have deep respect for and much confidence in Elizabeth and her leadership skills,” Schadt said.

 Since 2002, ArtsMemphis has allocated more than $45 million to arts organizations in Memphis and Shelby County.

Schadt founded Wild Abundance Publishing in 2008 to publish lifestyle books that focus on American sporting life and culinary culture. Wild Abundance has published three books – First Shooting Light, Wild Abundance, A Million Wings. A fourth book, MEMPHIS: Sweet, Spicy and a Little Greasy is due for publication this fall.

“Susan has been a strong and an important voice for ArtsMemphis. Under her leadership, ArtsMemphis completed a $27.2 million endowment campaign, benefited from the transformational rebrand of the entire organization and formed an innovative and successful partnership with Ducks Unlimited,” said ArtsMemphis Board Chairman, Bob Craddock.

“We look forward to Elizabeth’s leadership and vision as ArtsMemphis continues to support the growing arts community throughout our area.”

Susan M. Schadt Biography
Susan M. Schadt has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ArtsMemphis since 2002. Her achievements include increasing arts support throughout the community and strategic funding of arts outreach and engagement. Schadt launched and completed the Memphis for the Arts Endowment Campaign that raised $27.2 million. In 2005, she led ArtsMemphis as it partnered with Ducks Unlimited to create the Conservation Through Art initiative that has generated $4 million to support the arts and wildlife conservation since inception. As founder of Wild Abundance Publishing, Schadt was the executive editor of three collectible volumes: First Shooting LightWild Abundance and A Million Wings.
Schadt was the 2011 United Arts Fund recipient of the Americans for the Arts’ Michael Newton Award for leadership. She was recognized as the 2011 Outstanding Executive Leader of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Memphis Chapter. She was the 2013 Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival International Executive of the Year. 

Elizabeth Rouse Biography
Elizabeth Rouse has served ArtsMemphis in several critical roles, including Chief Development Officer and Chief Operating Officer, demonstrating a complete organizational knowledge. During her tenure in development, Rouse successfully managed yearly fundraising budgets of around $2.5 million. In her current role as COO, Rouse has impacted local arts organizations by further streamlining ArtsMemphis’ grant making process, as she facilitated ten grant programs, representing 138 grants to 40 organizations for a total of $3.8 million last year.
Rouse’s quick rise within the ArtsMemphis organization attests to her leadership internally and externally as an advocate and passionate supporter of the Memphis arts community. Her tireless efforts in grant making and fundraising are critical as she takes over the top leadership position at ArtsMemphis on January 1, 2015.
A native of Mobile, Alabama and a graduate of Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., Rouse joined ArtsMemphis in 2006. She is a graduate of Leadership Memphis.
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