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Springfield Area Arts Council Announces New Executive Director

After a nationwide search, Springfield’s own Isabella Szabo was selected to lead the Springfield Area Arts Council.

"In my role as executive director, I am dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural landscape that encourages dialogue, diversity, and meaningful engagement," said Szabo, "Through the Arts Council’s spectrum of art disciplines, I aim to inspire creativity; provoke thoughtful conversations; and ultimately contribute to the positive transformation of our community.” 

Szabo begins work at the Arts Council office inside the Hoogland Center for the Arts in downtown Springfield on February 1st.  Since 2022, Szabo has been the manager of the University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery.  She also is a UIS Art and Artifacts Committee member, an instructor at the Springfield Art Association, and an independent curator.  

"The Arts Council is so happy to have found a qualified and enthusiastic candidate from the Springfield area.  Isabella has many ideas and skills that will energize the Arts Council as it approaches its 50th anniversary,” said Sheila Walk who has worked at the Arts Council since 2008 and served as executive director since 2018, retiring from that role on January 31st.  Walk will use her long experience as a language arts teacher to continue managing the Arts Council’s education programs. 

Szabo, a visual artist, holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a ceramics emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts in Global Cultures and Languages (French) from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  She studied abroad at the Université Angers in Angers, France, and is a member of Alpha Mu Gamma. 

The Springfield Area Arts Council was established in 1976 and serves the residents of and visitors to Sangamon and Menard counties.  Its mission is to enrich the community by promoting all art forms and providing creative opportunities to participate in and enjoy the arts.


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