701 CCA announces new Executive Director

October 17, 2022

701 Center for Contemporary Art announced that Caitlin Bright has been appointed as its new Executive Director.

“We are pleased that Caitlin will be joining us as we enter into an exciting season of public programs. Her extensive background in arts management will be an asset as we move forward with an even higher profile for public engagement,” commented Lynn Robertson who heads the 701 CCA Board of Directors.

Many in Columbia are familiar with Bright’s accomplishments in heading Columbia’s Tapp’s Art Center from 2014 to 2021. Before that she had an extensive career with community based arts spaces in New York.

“I am thrilled to begin this new chapter in my administrative career with 701 Center for Contemporary Art. The two main tenets of this position are growing opportunities for artists and enriching the quality of life for my fellow community members. I am ready to build on the foundations of success constructed by my predecessors, and continue to provide the level of excellence expected,” was Bright’s enthusiastic comment.

701 Center for Contemporary Art was founded 15 years ago by a group of dedicated community volunteers interested in providing a space for the creation and presentation of the best arts of today. Their space at 701 Whaley Street hosts 5 or 6 exhibitions each year as well as an Artist in Residence program and the annual Young Artists Festival for children.

“There are a lot of new and exciting things happening at CCA,” said Ken May, head of the Programming Committee. “We just inaugurated the Mill District Public Art Trail through our surrounding neighborhood, and people should look for a new and invigorated Columbia Open Studios event this spring. There is a growing role for the arts in the Midlands and as CCA moves forward with renewed energy, we are definitely an organization to watch.”

Caitlin Bright is following Michaela Pilar Brown who headed the organization for the last two years. Brown was responsible for guiding the organization through the trying times of COVID and the requirement of switching to distanced programing. A well known South Carolina artist, Brown is leaving to focus on her own work and direct a commercial gallery in the Vista, at the former IFArt Gallery.

Looking back over her tenure, Brown commented, “I am excited about the new direction I am taking as both an arts administrator and artist, but my love for 701 CCA, its programs, gallery and community remains. I am proud that we met the historical moment during my tenure and engaged the community in important conversations that addressed the issues of our rapidly changing world with powerful art from diverse voices, that we expanded our reach in the community and provided space for artists to address complex problems through direct community engagement.”