Introducing Burnaway’s new Executive Director

By February 24, 2022
Burnaway’s Board of Directors announces Brandon Sheats as Executive Director and the departure of Artistic Director Erin Jane Nelson
Brandon Sheats. Photo by Melissa Alexander.

After a nationwide search, Burnaway’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon Sheats as the organization’s new Executive Director. Sheats joins Burnaway as an experienced arts administrator and strategist in the Atlanta art community.  He began his career as a writer and creative technologist, consulting arts organizations and small businesses. Recently, he held positions with various arts nonprofits and businesses including Executive Director of Murmur (Atlanta, GA), a space for DIY print, art, and music; digital strategist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Atlanta, GA); and Digital Tech Director with the Apollo Theater (New York, NY) during their recent digital transformation.  Dedicated to building sustainable platforms for artists, art spaces, and critical thought, Sheats is set to lead Burnaway into its next era of growth by stewarding increased engagement through programs and by embracing the organization’s capacity to evolve our essential question – What is the South?

Rafael Soldi: A body in transit is now on view at the Frost Museum, Miami through December 4

Additionally, after three transformational years at the helm, Artistic Director and former Executive Director Erin Jane Nelson has left Burnaway to focus full time on her artistic career. Under her tenure as Director, Burnaway’s editorial reach expanded across the South, developing engaging programs, partnerships, and coverage as complex as the region. Investing in Burnaway’s infrastructure, Nelson also led the development of the organization’s new website and the recently adopted five-year strategic plan. Her brief time as Artistic Director was instrumental in stewarding a thoughtful transition.

As Burnaway prepares to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in 2023, the Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Sheats to the organization.  “His passion for the mission and extensive experience will serve Burnaway and its readers both near and far.  We thank Erin Jane Nelson for her dynamic leadership and wish her well in the next phase of her career.”

Sheats, an Atlanta native, brings an exciting new vision and energy to the organization’s mission. “Burnaway is uniquely positioned to present an accessible and critical eye towards the broader South, placing our region in a global context and at the forefront of critical dialogue and artistic development.  I’m excited to join a dynamic staff and steward the diverse roster of contributors, partners, and artists of the Burnaway community. I am humbled to take on the work of Burnaway’s mission at a pivotal moment, expanding the organization’s audience nationally and internationally by engaging more deeply within the region while reaffirming our presence in Atlanta, our home. As we move into the future and embrace new means and modes of discourse, the narrative we can tell through visual arts and criticism is more essential than ever.”

Sheats joined Burnaway as of February 16 and will assume the full responsibilities of the Executive Director role on March 1.

Kirsten Stolle's Only You Can Prevent A Forest on view at Halsey Institute through Dec 10, 2022

About Burnaway:

Burnaway is an Atlanta-based, non-profit magazine of contemporary art and criticism from the American South,  published online weekly and in print annually. Through its editorial program and cultivation of emerging arts writers and journalists, Burnaway connects the region’s diverse creative communities and develops exchange between Southern art, and the national and international arts audiences.

For Additional Information:

Please contact Claire Dempster ([email protected]) or (470) 794-1317.

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