GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — David Abbott, the executive director of the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, is stepping down.
A letter from Festival’s Board of Directors said Abbott was resigning to focus on his health. He is currently battling cancer. This is his sixth cancer diagnosis since he was 20.
“Under David’s leadership, Festival has reconnected with Grand Rapids arts organizations, welcomed new partnerships, celebrated Festival’s 50th Anniversary year, and navigated how to adapt during an ongoing global pandemic,” the board wrote Wednesday. “The board, committees, and all the Festival Family say a very big thank you to David for the hard work, enthusiasm, passion, and commitment to bringing art for all over the past three years.”
After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Festival went on as planned in June of this year. The organization was also planning a September event called Performance+, but that was also canceled as virus case numbers rose again.
Festival should return June 3 through June 5, 2022.