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Sam Oliver named executive director of AcA

Posted at 2:54 PM, Sep 23, 2018

The Acadiana Center for the Arts Board of Directors has appointed Samuel Oliver as the organization’s Executive Director, a release on the AcA website states.

“The AcA has a truly inspirational history,” Oliver says. “As an institution with deep roots in the community, it has served as one of the most culturally rich regions of the country and adapted to serve a broad audience since it’s founding as an arts council in 1975. Today, AcA’s programs contribute to Acadiana’s outstanding visual and performing arts community while having an unstoppable commitment to improving public education through the arts. It is a privilege to serve as its Executive Director, to return to serve this community, and to work with the amazing staff of this world-class organization.”

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Oliver is particularly interested in serving new and diverse audiences using the best practices from the national and international arts fields. Before becoming Executive Director of AcA, Oliver served as Assistant Director for Operations and Administration at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. As Assistant Director for Operations, he provided oversight of internal operations and management for the $3 million visual and performing arts presenter. Oliver was instrumental in establishing the Contemporary Arts Center’s audience development program and oversaw a $12 million renovation of the organization’s historic museum and performing arts facility.

“Sam’s broad knowledge of cultural policy and arts administration coupled with years of experience working with artists across art forms makes him well positioned to lead us going forward,” says AcA Board President Dan Hare. “His passion and commitment to our cause and his deep knowledge of South Louisiana will enable him to plan more effectively for the future, expand our programs, and introduce innovative approaches to serving our diverse communities.”

Oliver is a non-profit arts administrator with 10 years of experience. Oliver has worked with diverse arts and cultural organizations including art museums, performing arts presenters, literary publishers, and city arts agencies. Throughout his experience, Oliver also worked as a researcher and arts officer at the City of Edinburgh Council, UK and as a Special Assistant to the Director at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, where he moved through the management ranks, ultimately becoming Assistant Director for Operations and Administration. In these roles, Oliver developed strong leadership and management skills while continuing his practice as a researcher and advocate for data-driven decision-making.

Oliver holds a B.A. from Louisiana State University; an M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; and a Certificate in Cultural Diplomacy from the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin. He is a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, Austria; a New Orleans Young Cultural Innovators Hub member; an alumnus of the Young Leadership Council’s Leadership Development Series; an Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans member; and graduate of Lafayette High School.

To learn more about Acadiana Center for the Arts, upcoming exhibitions and events, or to become a member,  visit