state arts action network
Tom Turk is executive director of Tennesseans for the Arts, an assignment he accepted September 1, 2003, several months after retiring from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission after 10 years as that agency’s executive director.
Mr. Turk has worked with over a dozen state arts agencies and state or national arts service organizations as a consultant and workshop speaker on arts advocacy and organization development. He chaired the Texas Commission on the Arts community arts grant panel and the Texas Arts Council Policy Committee, was a Michigan Council for the Arts community arts panel member, and was a Mid-America Arts Alliance grant panelist. He has served on Tennessee Arts Commission grant panels since 2003.
From 1991 to 1993, Mr. Turk was managing director of the Texarkana (TX–AR) Regional Arts and Humanities Council. During the decade 1981 to 1991, Mr. Turk served as executive director of the Cultural Activities Center in Temple, TX, a creative and performing arts center. Mr. Turk was also fine arts producer at Michigan State University’s WKAR-TV in East Lansing from 1963 to 1981. In the community arts field, Mr. Turk was elected founding chairman—and later named president—of the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies, a statewide arts service and arts advocacy organization he helped form in 1977. From 1975 to 1977, he was president of the Metropolitan Lansing (MI) Fine Arts Council.
In 1980, Governor William G. Milliken appointed Mr. Turk to the Michigan Council for the Arts. He served two terms on the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (now Americans for the Arts) board of directors during the years 1979–1985. In 1999–2000, Mr. Turk was president of the United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF), the association of local arts council and commission directors from the nation’s 50 largest cities. Previously, he was vice president and secretary of USUAF.
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