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Szabo named new director of the Springfield Area Arts Council

Isabella Szabo
Bill Stokes
Isabella Szabo

The Springfield Area Arts Council has named it's next executive director. Isabella Szabo, who most recently has served as manager of the University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery, was selected after a national search.

Szabo is also a UIS Art and Artifacts Committee member, an instructor at the Springfield Art Association, and an independent curator. She was chosen among "a couple dozen applicants," according to the SAAC.

“In my role as executive director, I am dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural landscape that encourages dialogue, diversity, and meaningful engagement. 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 said.

She will begin the new role in Feb. 1. Szabo will succeed Sheila Walk, who is retiring from the director's job she has held since 2018.

Sheila Walk
Sheila Walk

“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 Walk. She will 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. It's offices are located at the Hoogland Center for the Arts at 420 S. Sixth St. in downtown Springfield.

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