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Board of Directors

Ken May Headshot
Treasurer

Executive Director

South Carolina Arts Commission

Ken May

Ken May joined the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1985 as a regional arts coordinator and served as director of planning, research and grants and assistant deputy director before being named deputy director in 1995. During his tenure at the Commission, May has played a key role in the creation of many of the agency’s nationally recognized programs and partnerships in arts education, community design, public participation in the arts, rural arts development, and career development for artists. Since becoming executive director in 2010, he has gained a national reputation as a leader in the use of social media for arts advocacy, decisively overcoming serious threats to his agency during the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 legislative sessions and securing $1 million in new, recurring state appropriation for arts grants in 2013. May has served as a panelist and site visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts; a panelist, presenter, consultant and facilitator for national, state and local arts organizations; and a guest lecturer in arts administration programs at the College of Charleston and Winthrop University. He is a member of the board and former treasurer of South Arts. Before beginning his career in arts administration, May held positions with ARA Services Magazine and Book Division and McGraw-Hill. Prior to his long sojourn in the realm of day jobs, he worked as a professional musician. May received undergraduate and master’s degrees in music history and musicology from Florida State University. (Board term 2015-2020)