Story’s last day will be Friday, September 9th.

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) announced on Monday that Sarah Story, Executive Director of MAC, will step down from her role effective Friday, September 9, 2022. MAC’s Deputy Director, Larry Morrisey, will serve as interim executive director until the position is filled.

Story has served as Executive Director since September 2020. Under her leadership, MAC increased the annual budget from $3 million to $7.2 million for the fiscal year 2023 while Story led the development of the strategic plan for 2023-2027 and spearheaded the agency-wide rebrand that will launch in early September.

Story also implemented a new fundraising initiative, “Art Crush,” in conjunction with the Governor’s Arts Awards, which doubled the Commission’s private funding.

MAC Board Chair, Marie Sanderson, said that Story stepped into this role in the middle of the pandemic and successfully led the agency through this time.

“Even with the challenges the pandemic presented, Sarah successfully launched and saw through multiple initiatives and left MAC in a better place than where she found it,” Sanderson said.

In a release, MAC stated that Story has accepted a position as the Director of Development for the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.

The state agency announced that they have launched a search for a new Executive Director and the deadline to apply for this position is September 30, or until filled.

Story said she has immense gratitude for the opportunity to reconnect with her home state and work alongside the incredible artists and cultural workers dedicated to brightening their communities through programs, performances, exhibitions, filmmaking, writing, and public art.

“The artistic talent in Mississippi inspires. I am proud to have made an impact during my leadership,” Story added. “The MAC is integral to our past, current, and future artistic legacy: supporting, promoting, and connecting our rich cultural heritage to our citizens and tourists in Mississippi and beyond. I’ll continue to be a proud fan, supporter, and promoter of the arts in Mississippi.”