Atlanta Jewish Music Festival founder Russell Gottschalk announced Tuesday, April 10, that he is stepping down from his position as the only executive director in the festival’s nine-year history.

“I’m privileged to share that I am completing my last season as the Executive Director of AJMF,” Gottschalk wrote in a blog post on the festival website. “It feels like the right time to move on although you never really know until you look back in hindsight. So I remind myself the whole world is a very narrow bridge and the important part is not to be afraid.”

He wrote that after the AJMF’s ninth spring festival in March, which drew a cumulative audience of more than 6,300 people over three weeks, “we’re pushing the limits of what we can do with AJMF’s resources and relationships.”

At 33, he said, he is worried about stagnating professionally.

Gottschalk added that he’s confident in the ability of the current festival staff and board to maintain the AJMF’s important place in the community, but “we no longer need an entrepreneur at the helm.”

The festival has not announced who will succeed Gottschalk.

Read an exclusive interview with Gottschalk about his decision and his plans in the April 20 issue of the Atlanta Jewish Times and at