Artadia today announced that longtime executive director Carolyn Ramo will step down from her position at the end of May, 2023.

Since her 2012 appointment, Ramo has led Artadia in the pursuit of a more just arts economy, expanding the organization’s acclaimed Awards program, increasing the monetary value of Artadia’s grants, and bolstering Artadia’s visibility as a leading arts funder. This support has benefited more than 240 individual artists, vital additions to a flourishing national community of the Artadia Awardees and collaborators.

The Awards program is now active in seven cities across the country, and has hosted programs in four more, providing much-needed direct support to artists in the form of expanded $15,000 unrestricted grants. Ramo also led Artadia to more than double the number of Awards it offers annually, from ten to twenty-two. This expansion was made possible in part by Ramo’s fundraising efforts, which have brought in almost $12 million through new partnerships across all donor categories during her time with the organization.

That increase in support has been especially notable in light of the challenges posed to artists by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Artadia’s work to aid artists underrepresented in the current art economy, Ramo was a dedicated co-organizer of Artist Relief, on behalf of Artadia, where she played a role in providing almost 4000 emergency relief grants and raising almost $20 million for artists impacted by the pandemic.

“I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished in the past 11 years; it has been an honor to play a small part in supporting the visual artists who enrich our collective culture,” said Ramo. “Artadia is strong and stable, with a dedicated staff and an incredible national community. I’m excited to hand the reins to new leadership to continue to grow the organization and its impact.”

A nationwide search for Ramo’s successor will begin immediately. Suzy Delvalle, currently serving as Interim Executive Director for A Blade of Grass, will assume the role of Interim Director starting in June. Ramo will remain in an advisory capacity and serve as Director Emeritus.

“As we approach our 25th anniversary, Carolyn’s leadership has put Artadia on the path to a sustainable, incredibly impactful future,” said Artadia board co-chairs Laura Roberson Fisch and Aurele Danoff Pelaia. “We are so grateful for Carolyn’s accomplishments and visionary leadership over the last decade-plus. Carolyn has helped elevate Artadia in terms of its scope of work and mission in support of the artist community.”

“Over the past decade, Carolyn Ramo has brought these skills along with hard work, commitment and a love of artists to transform the organization,” said Artadia founder Chris Vroom, “making Artadia a uniquely vital voice advancing creative culture at its source.”

Ramo’s departure comes on the heels of a series of successful events this spring, including a benefit exhibition to support future Artadia Awardees hosted by Sprüth Magers, the Art & Leisure tennis tournament that kicked off this year’s Frieze Los Angeles week, an exhibition with PhillipsX of works by California-based Artadia Awardees at Phillips Los Angeles, and a booth at EXPO Chicago that featured 2022 Chicago Awardees. Artadia will also be honored at Frieze New York this May, where it will co-present the inaugural Frieze Artadia Prize. Additionally, Artadia will continue their long-term partnership with 21c Museum Hotels to provide unrestricted funds to artists living in the unique creative 21c communities, focusing this summer on North Carolina and the Research Triangle.

Click here to read the full press release.

Since its founding in 1999, Artadia has awarded over $6 million in unrestricted funds to almost 400 artists nationally. Artadia was built on the belief that visual artists play a foundational role in shaping society and the arts economy as storytellers and civic leaders. In dialogue with the artists’ communities they intended to support, Artadia launched an awards program encompassing seven major U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh.