Arts Council New Orleans Names Joycelyn Reynolds as Interim Executive Director

Reynolds, an Industry Leader and Veteran, takes over from outgoing Executive Director Alphonse Smith

Arts Council New Orleans and its Board of Directors announces the promotion of Arts Council Deputy Director Joycelyn Reynolds assuming the role of Interim Executive Director when current Executive Director, Alphonse Smith, steps down from the position on August 1, 2020.  

Together Smith and Reynolds have worked throughout 2020 bolstering existing programs and partnerships, developing art and design-centered solutions to civic challenges, and strengthening the Arts Council’s relationships citywide.  The Arts Council is continuing to develop a series of transformative public art projects across the city created with a wide range of community partners, including:  

Transitioning Arts Council leadership to Joycelyn Reynolds, who is well known for her grantsmanship and advocacy throughout Louisiana, leaves the organization in very capable hands,” Board Chair Amanda Mantle Winstead said. “Joycelyn has an unprecedented knowledge of the local arts community and we are confident in her ability to move the Arts Council forward during a dynamic time for our work and creative projects across the city. The Arts Council is pleased to continue with a leader who brings continuity and new ideas. ” 

A New Orleans native, Reynolds has managed the Arts Council’s grant programs, made possible with funds from the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. She was instrumental in the creation of the  “More Joy” category  which seeks to provide equitable grant funds for Black Masking Indians and Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs. Additionally, she has served as a chair for Louisiana Partnership for the Arts lobbying and advocating for the arts locally and nationally. 

“As an arts supporter and advocate, I look forward to bringing energetic leadership to the community that I love. I am excited about the future of the Arts Council as we move further into the 21st century, a time when the arts are more important and needed as an expression of our humanity and unity,” said Reynolds.

Smith will be taking the position of Executive Director of Giving Hope Foundation, working to continue their community engagement and mission of revitalizing the City of New Orleans through service projects.  “My seven years as a member of the Arts Council family has been a time of great excitement, satisfaction, and professional growth. This is only surpassed by my profound respect for Joycelyn Reynolds and her contribution to the New Orleans arts community. Joycelyn’s leadership coupled with the incredible talents of our staff and board gives me full confidence that the Arts Council will be a shining light and anchor during seemingly dim and shaky times,” Smith said. “With that same confidence, I look forward to my appointment as the Executive Director of the Giving Hope Foundation.”

Arts Council New Orleans, a 501(c)(3) independent nonprofit organization, is the city’s official art agency and regional arts council for Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes. The organization’s mission is to improve quality of life in New Orleans by supporting and investing in the city’s artists, cultural producers, and creative community.  For more information on the Arts Council visit: