A nationally known leader in the local arts agency community, Robert Bush joined the Arts and Science Council (ASC) in 2000. He was named President in 2014 and recently retired in 2020. He was responsible for ensuring ASC’s mission, annual goals and long-term objectives were advanced by setting the strategy and vision for the organization, as well as the tone for an organizational culture that supports ASC’s mission, goals, and strategies. He also ensured the organization had the necessary human capital to advance its mission, while directing and overseeing the tactical activities designed to produce the desired results and leading efforts to secure and allocate resources so its mission progressed. In addition to serving as the chief strategic executive officer for the organization, Bush served as the lead representative on behalf of ASC to the broader community, as well as its various constituencies.
Prior to joining ASC, Bush served as president and CEO of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as Director of Development with the Mint Museum of Art and as Executive Director of the Catawba County Council for the Arts. A past president of the Arts North Carolina, he is former member of both the Governing and National Policy Boards of Americans for the Arts, and the Boards of Directors of Community Building Initiative, Urban League of Central Carolinas, Indiana Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, Partners in Out-of-School Time and the NAMES Project (the AIDS Memorial Quilt) where he served as board chair. In 1984, he received the Governor’s Award for meritorious service to the citizens of North Carolina from Governor James B. Hunt and in 2011, the Legacy Award from the Harvey B. Gantt for African-American Arts + Culture. In 2014, Bush received the Salina Roberts Ottum Award from Americans for the Arts for Arts Leadership.
A native of Hickory, NC, he holds a B.S. and M.A. in Education Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Community Education from Appalachian State University and is a graduate of Managing the Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bush has served on the faculty of the Master of Arts in Arts Administration program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and currently serves as a part-time faculty member of the Master of Public Administration Program at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.