Press Releases

Shelby County residents to serve as TN Arts Commission Chair and Vice-Chair

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2016

Shelby County residents to serve as FY2017 Tennessee Arts Commission Chair and Vice-Chair

Nashville—Memphis arts leaders, Lisa Bobango and Ritche Manley Bowden will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. Both appointments began July 1, 2016 and will continue for a year. The Commission members unanimously approved new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on May 25, 2016. Jan Ramsey of Chattanooga who will serve as secretary joins Bobango and Bowden in office.

Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director commented, “We are excited to welcome Mrs. Bobango as our incoming chair and Ms. Bowden as our incoming vice-chair. They are both committed community and arts leaders in Memphis and West Tennessee and have been strong voices at the Commission for the past several years. We will benefit from their experience as long-time arts advocates and champions.”

Chair Lisa Bobango was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2013. An active community leader, Bobango has been involved in numerous nonprofit organizations. She has served on the board of the Memphis Literacy Council, the Junior League of Memphis, the Germantown Women’s Club, is past president of the Memphis Bar Auxiliary and is the former Sustainer Director for the Junior League of Memphis.

“I was honored to be appointed by Governor Haslam to serve my community and state in this capacity. I have seen how Memphis and West Tennessee have benefitted from strong arts and culture. Now moving into this leadership position, I hope that I can contribute even more in helping move all of Tennessee’s schools and communities forward through the arts,” said Bobango.

She has also taken part in several arts-related organizations in Memphis. Bobango and her husband, John Bobango, were founding members of ‘Young at Art’ at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens and have supported the Orpheum Theater, ArtsMemphis, Germantown Performing Arts Center, and Germantown Community Theatre. Additionally, Bobango is a member of the Suburban Garden Club of the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.

Vice-Chair Ritche Manley Bowden was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2013. She currently serves as a Network Relations Specialist for Ameigroup in West Tennessee.

“I am honored to accept this new leadership position. Memphis is richer for the cultural institutions we enjoy. I look forward to working with the Commission in cultivating the arts across Tennessee,” said Bowden.

As a community leader, Bowden has numerous philanthropic involvements including serving as a member of the University of Arkansas Alumni National Association Board of Directors, the Lausanne Collegiate School Board of Directors and the University of Memphis Alumni Association.  Bowden was a member of the Tennessee Medical Association Auxiliary, Bluff City Medical Auxiliary, National Black MBA Association and the National Society of Black Engineers. She has been a  part of the National Civil Rights Museum “Keepers of the Dream” Campaign Steering Committee and has served as co-chair of the Special Gifts Division for St. Mary’s Capital Campaign 2004-2005. She currently serves on the University of Arkansas Black Alumni Association Board of Directors.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. A 15-member board that is appointed by the Governor for a five-year term governs the Tennessee Arts Commission. The Commission meetings occur quarterly and are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can be found at the website,



Attachment: 2017 Executive Board
Caption: The executive committee from left to right: Vice-Chair Ritche Bowden, Chair Lisa Bobango and Secretary Jan Ramsey