The Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation hosted a retirement party May 23 to celebrate its executive director, Dr. Michael W. Meeks.
Meeks has led ASFA for eight years, capping a 40-year career working in education.
The gathering was held in the lobby of the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater at ASFA, which sparkled with tea lights and summer hydrangeas.
The festivities included a video highlighting Meeks’ career and family, a jazz ensemble featuring ASFA alum Desmond Sykes and hors d’oeuvres from Yellow Bicycle catering.
Many guests spoke about the positive impact Meeks had on their lives and the lives of the many students he touched through his decades in the classroom and in school administration.
Meeks is only the third executive director in ASFA’s history. While at the school, Meeks worked to bring the school recognition and respect on the local and state levels. He helped persuade legislators to increase state funding to pre-recession levels and spearheaded the celebration of ASFA’s 50th anniversary. He represented the school on statewide and national committees, including the Artistic Literacy Consortium and the Arts Schools Network.
Former Leadership Birmingham Executive Director Ann Florie will fill in as interim executive director of ASFA as the board of trustees conducts a nationwide search for Meeks’ successor.
The ASFA Foundation created the Executive Director’s Legacy Fund in Meeks’ honor to support the work of executive directors to address internal and external affairs of the school.
The foundation still is accepting donations, which can be made at asfaschool.org/donations.