Council Chair Announces Executive Director Shelley Crisp to Retire

Executive Director Shelley Crisp with Council Chair Cynthia Brodhead

North Carolina Humanities Council chair Cynthia Brodhead has announced that executive director Shelley Crisp will be retiring, effective June 1, 2013. Crisp has served as executive director since 2007. During her tenure with the Humanities Council, Crisp brought the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition series into North Carolina, launched the Council’s biannual magazine North Carolina Conversations, and inaugurated the NC Stories digital grant program. Towny Ludington, past chair of the Council who worked closely with Crisp for the last three years, commented: “Shelley’s service has been truly excellent.  I’d even call it superb. Working closely with the Council’s capable staff, she has greatly expanded the many programs the Council offers to all the people of North Carolina.  She has directed the Council’s budget wisely during difficult economic times, has overseen the beginning of a vital capital campaign, and has been a major public voice in the state for the humanities.  I know I speak for all the Council Trustees when I express profound thanks for her work and best wishes for whatever she next chooses to undertake.  Fortunate indeed will be the recipients of her talents. The Humanities Council will miss her sorely.”

Crisp holds a B.A. in English Education from UNC at Chapel Hill; an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University; an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  Prior to joining the Humanities Council, she served as Associate Director of the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) Resource Center.  Before CFNC, she directed the First Year Program at Guilford College in Greensboro.  As a career college teacher, she has taught writing, literature, poetry, and interdisciplinary studies courses at Guilford; UNCG; UNC at Charlotte, where she headed the Women’s Studies Program; and NCSU. She has served as visiting faculty for the Master of Liberal Arts program at UNC at Greensboro and is currently a volunteer docent at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Crisp has proven to be a skilled administrator and a gracious public representative for the Council.  She will leave the Council in a strong position, with good momentum for the future. Crisp’s plan to stay with the Council until next June will ensure continuity and provide for a stable transition.  Council vice chair Richard Schramm heads the search committee to identify the Council’s next executive director.  Complete details about the search are posted on the Council’s web site .