ATLANTA, GA — As it finalizes a new five-year strategic plan following a period of tremendous growth, Burnaway’s board of directors and organization leadership are pleased to announce that it will be restructured into a two-director model. Executive Director Erin Jane Nelson will transition into the position of artistic director starting July 1, 2021. The board has chosen Claire Dempster, currently development manager, to serve as Burnaway’s interim executive director. A national search for a permanent executive director will begin later this year.
Dempster has been a Burnaway contributor since 2018 and has served as its development manager since September 2020. Prior to her role at Burnaway, she worked at the Woodruff Arts Center after receiving her master of arts in art history from the University of Georgia. “I am honored to assist Burnaway, our amazing staff, board, and supporters through this period of transition and thrilled to guide Burnaway’s role within the artistic landscape of Atlanta and the South,” said Dempster.
Since Nelson’s tenure began in November 2018, she has led Burnaway through a major restructuring of its editorial and education programs and launched a new brand identity and website to complement this evolving focus. “Erin’s deft leadership and creative vision has made Burnaway a thriving and innovative organization and publication,” said Board Chair Melissia Fernander. “As executive director, she was instrumental in strengthening our financial position and re-focusing the publication back to its mission and purpose. We are pleased to have her continue at Burnaway as our artistic director.”
Nelson’s transition to artistic director will allow her to continue to serve the organization while also devoting more time to her own artistic career. On the transition, she said, “Growing Burnaway’s capacity and visibility within the national art world over the last two and a half years has been one of the greatest challenges and joys of my career to date. I’m grateful to move into a role that will allow me to deepen my involvement with our editorial program, continue to champion Southern artists, and develop new partnerships that will broaden Burnaway’s impact in the field.”