SEMAC announces new executive director

(ABC 6 News) – The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) announced its new executive director as appointed by its Board of Directors.

Anastasia Shartin, has been named to the role. Shartin started with SEMAC on Monday, June 5 and previously served as the Visual Arts Director at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, since 2000.

Shartin has worked most recently in a primarily rural place with suburban and urban crossover of artists and audiences and has experience navigating the nuance of rural-to-urban spaces, similar to that of the SEMAC region.

Shartin received a Masters of Arts in Curatorial Studies from Bard College in New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of California-Berkeley.

Shartin has a strong desire to help SEMAC support local artists and arts organizations bring their artistic visions to fruition.

“Throughout my career, I have worked directly with thousands of artists and performers to plan and produce nearly as many gallery exhibitions, public events, performances, educational programs, partnership projects, and community collaborations,” said Shartin. “I deeply believe engaging with the arts has the power to create positive change in an individual and in society, and it is essential to thriving communities.”

Throughout her 30 year tenure serving in the arts, Shartin was honored with an Arts in the Community Award, presented by Arts Wisconsin in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities in 2012, for championing the arts as integral to economic, educational, and community vitality, and demonstrating advocacy on behalf of the arts on the local level. She was also a recipient of the St. Croix Watershed Stewardship Award by the St. Croix River Association in 2012 for her work on art projects promoting actions for a healthy river.

Shartin will work closely with SEMAC staff and the Board of Directors to help facilitate, promote and encourage local arts development by providing leadership, outreach, advocacy, mentorship, grants, and services in the eleven counties in the southeast region.

SEMAC has served Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona counties since 1977.

In fiscal year 2022, SEMAC disbursed $1,094,400 through 189 grants in the region.