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Audra Pittman Departs COCA for Atlanta Job

Tom Flanigan

Tallahassee's Council of Culture and the Arts - also known as "COCA," is in the market for a new leader. Executive Director Audra Pittman, who assumed that role in mid-2014, has now taken a new job in Atlanta.

COCA staff, board members and friends threw a Wednesday night (2/13) farewell party for Pittman who then gave a short speech.

"This has been an amazing experience!" she told the group of several dozen people gathered at COCA headquarters on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. "I'll tell anyone that's applying or looking for this job that this is an amazing team here. They made my life so easy!"

Later she said that only Atlanta's Savannah College of Art and Design, could have lured her away.

"I always said if it came open I'd do that and suddenly it was there and I had to pounce on it."

Pittman will assume a vice-presidency of that institution, with which she had a previous association, on Monday, Feb. 18. Meanwhile local musician Del Suggs hoped Pittman's successor would have her artistic and political savvy.

"She understands the economic impact the arts have in this community and she's been able to articulate that to the folks in power," he said. "That's made a huge difference!"

Amanda Karioth Thompson takes over as interim director. Permanent position applications will be taken until March 22nd.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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