A Message from Courtney and the Board of Directors
Dear artists, colleagues, supporters and friends,
Southern Exposure has always defied and surpassed expectation – even my own. Thirteen years ago, when I began my tenure as Executive Director, I couldn’t have imagined the challenges and opportunities ahead, let alone the remarkable transformative growth and change that has brought the organization an amazing long-term Mission District home, financial stability, and energetic and experimental programming that champions artists and new ideas. We’ve accomplished all this while staying fiercely dedicated to our artist-centered mission. Southern Exposure remains a deeply creative, generous, scrappy and resourceful organization that dreams big.
With Southern Exposure strong and thriving, I am excited to turn to new challenges. After the end of August, I’ll be stepping aside and the organization will begin a new chapter with new leadership. I have faith that our profoundly committed staff and exceptionally engaged board will continue to honor Southern Exposure’s legacy and create a vision for the future that is for artists, by artists. I’m so proud of my work establishing our Alternative Exposure Re-Granting Program and Off-Site Public Art Program and for expanding SoEx into a platform for experimentation that offers resources to artists on many levels. Leading SoEx during three nomadic years was also an amazing time, during which we radically reshaped our programs and emerged as a re-energized organization with greatly increased capacity. Southern Exposure has become an open-source model for arts organizations around the country.
I’ll continue to advocate tirelessly for the essential role of Southern Exposure and other artist-centered organizations in my role as a co-founder of Common Field, a newly-launched network of experimental, non-commercial, contemporary visual arts organizations and organizers, as a board member of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and as a board member of the Seed Fund. Southern Exposure has taught me more than I ever could have imagined and our incredible community has become my extended family. I look forward to continuing our relationship as I begin new adventures.
In the meantime, please join me in the incredible creative momentum at Southern Exposure. Thank you for believing in us and ensuring we remain a strong presence at this time when support for artists and cultural spaces is more important than ever. Your ongoing commitment will help ensure great things ahead. I’m here for the summer – please stop by!
Courtney Fink, Executive Director
Dear Southern Exposure family,
It is with immense gratitude for Courtney Fink's thirteen years of dedication to Southern Exposure that we see her off as she begins her next adventure. As Executive Director, Courtney has been a visionary leader and a true advocate for artists. We honor Courtney’s commitment to letting artists’ ideas lead the way, her willingness to take risks, and her absolute inventiveness. She will forever be a part of the Southern Exposure legacy and family.
During her tenure, Courtney has guided the organization through an extraordinary transformation. Under her leadership, Southern Exposure has grown fourfold, developed our 20th Street home, built financial reserves, and thrived amidst continuing changing times. The Alternative Exposure Grant Program and Off-Site Public Art Program, both of which Courtney established, have helped to expand resources for local artists as they continue to lead us into new territories and new ways of looking at the world.
Today, thanks to Courtney’s unwavering commitment, the ongoing involvement of generations of people and the support of our exceptional community, Southern Exposure has never been stronger or better positioned to make this evolution to new leadership. It has been an honor to work alongside Courtney over the course of her remarkable tenure and especially during this transition. We know that Southern Exposure will always have a steadfast ally in our shared deep commitment to the visual arts and artist-centered work. Building upon these core values, our Search Committee in collaboration with our incredible staff will soon engage in a process that will identify a new leader poised to take the organization forward.
On August 21, Southern Exposure will host a celebration for Courtney honoring her commitment to SoEx and the Bay Area arts community. We look forward to seeing you that evening as we salute Courtney! Look for an invitation soon.
Lastly, thank you, our ever expanding family of artists and friends, for your continued dedication and support.
The Southern Exposure Board of Directors
Kelsey Nicholson, President
Beth Gray, Treasurer