April 12, 2013

Arts Council Director Moving to St. Louis

Kim Baker (right) at Arts Day 2012
Kim Baker, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Arts Council, announced her resignation yesterday. Good luck, Kim. Oklahoma's loss is Missouri's gain!

Dear Friends,

Let me take a moment to offer all of my love, support and gratitude for the work you have accomplished in Oklahoma. For the past 20 years, your commitment and dedication has been my inspiration. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of meeting and working with many of you. Your collective vision of making Oklahoma The Best is coming to fruition and we are all reaping the benefits.

It is with true sadness that I have announced my resignation to members of the Oklahoma Arts Council board. The resignation comes after a very difficult decision for my family and me to move to St. Louis, Missouri, where my husband has accepted a new job and a wonderful opportunity. Although my family will be moving to St. Louis, the great state of Oklahoma will always be first in my heart. No words can adequately express the feelings of gratitude I have towards the agency’s incredible staff, the Council members and to each of you who continue to do so much for Oklahoma. I have absolutely no doubt that I will continue to see new and exciting changes across the state on my frequent visits back to my “home.”

Although we know that Oklahoma’s arts and cultural industry has always been a shining light, my consolation is that now the excitement is truly building to a crescendo level. This industry is just beginning its phenomenal journey. The state is exploding with cultural offerings and all sectors of the arts are experiencing unprecedented growth and, perhaps more importantly, the hard earned respect of civic and business leaders. Your accomplishments have secured the arts a place at the table when it comes to civic design and aesthetics, education, cultural attractions, economic development, business recruitment, creative workforce development…the list goes on and on.

My time as executive director has been shorter than I anticipated, but during this short time I have seen the arts community come together like never before. I can embark on my next journey knowing the arts in Oklahoma are in good hands because so many hands are carrying it upward and onward. I know the staff of the Oklahoma Arts Council will continue to serve you diligently as you move the industry to new heights.

While I won’t be here to experience the excitement first hand, I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next. So with a mix of emotions, I wish you good luck in your endeavors. Thank you so much for the past 20 years.




Karen and Kim
Karen Douglas, OAC Deputy Director, has been named Interim Director.  The Oklahoma Arts Council has posted the Executive Director's position on the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofit's website. Applications will be accepted through April 30.